Now if you are wondering about the impetus for the Milwaukee Common Council to review the budgets and plans of all city departments to make systemic changes….here is where it’s coming from: Milwaukee Common Council approves measure exploring 10% cut to the police department budget.

When I first saw a preliminary story this morning, I was wondering if these cuts were wishful thinking or a real initiative. It looks like it’s going beyond the talking stages…we’ll see. Here’s some detail:

Following a lengthy discussion over the role of police in the community and the city’s fiscal challenges, Milwaukee Common Council members on Tuesday approved a measure directing the city budget office to explore the implications of a 10% cut to the police department budget.

Common Council members said they felt an urgency in this moment. They highlighted the need to plan well in advance of the city’s fall budget season, even as police tweeted the potential implications of such a cut.

Ald. Michael Murphy, like other members of the council, said he had received hundreds of emails calling for defunding the Milwaukee Police Department.

Murphy, who chairs the council’s finance committee, said he’s listening to those concerns, but he also noted the potential implications of such a cut.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us as leaders and elected officials to make it very clear what the costs and consequences of a 10% cut would be to the Milwaukee Police Department, specifically how it would relate to public safety in addition to how those funds would be reallocated that might mitigate those concerns,” he said.

The legislation was approved on a 13-2 vote, with Alds. Scott Spiker and Mark Borkowski voting against it.

So, there is some fairly immediate activity in city hall. We’ll watch and see how it progresses.

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