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Proposal to hire more Milwaukee cops met with differing viewpoints

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - State legislative leaders say Milwaukee’s mayor took a step in the right direction by proposing 100 new police officers next year, to help curb a rash of violent crime.

But Alderman Bob Donovan says the new hirings would be largely offset by a large number of officers retiring over the next two years.

Senate GOP finance chair Alberta Darling said what’s really needed is a more distinct crime fighting plan by Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Ed Flynn.

Tuesday, Donovan took several top state lawmakers on a tour of a south side Milwaukee neighborhood. Barrett paid a surprise visit, and said he would give lawmakers access to any information they wanted about the city.

Mayoral chief of staff Pat Curley said the mayor wanted to, “elevate the conversation,” and he had brief but constructive talk with the state leaders before the tour began.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos praised Barrett for his proposal to add officers. He added that city funds should cover the increase – and no state dollars would be available.

Recently, Barrett allocated a half-million city dollars for more police overtime, and he urged the state to kick in a half-million. Governor Scott Walker said no, saying it would cause other mayors around Wisconsin to line up for more money.