The Milwaukee Police Department’s official policy is to refrain from chasing crime suspects, arguing that pursuits bring more danger than benefit. The Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission, however, disagrees and has ordered the police chief to direct his officers to pursue more suspects.
Ald. Michael Murphy said police records show that in the first four months of this year, more than 600 drivers each month drove off from routine traffic stops, knowing that police would not chase them.
There has been a 53 percent increase in fatal accidents between January and May compared to the same time last year, and a 160 percent increase in the number of hit-and-run fatalities, commission records show.
Ultimately, the final decision is the Mayor Tom Barrett, who declined to say Monday if he’ll force Chief Ed Flynn’s hand, but he said the problem is that more teens are stealing cars and then aren’t being held accountable by judges.
The commission’s directive mandates the chief submit a new pursuit policy by July 27. He could be fired if he doesn’t comply.
An attempt by WISN 12 NEWS to reach Flynn for comment on Monday afternoon was not successful.