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Police Union President: MPD officers pressured to meet “quotas”

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MILWAUKEE -- Four Milwaukee police officers facing charges relating to illegal body cavity searches were silent during their initial court appearances Tuesday, October 9th, but a police union leader lashed out on their behalf Wednesday afternoon.

34-year-old Officer Michael Vagnini faces 25 counts of violating the strip search law, misconduct in public office and second-degree sexual assault. If convicted of these crimes, Vagnini faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

41-year-old Officer Jeffrey Dollhopf faces two counts of violating the strip search law and two counts of misconduct in public office.

Officers Brian Kozelek, 33 and Jacob Knight, 31 each face one count of violating the strip search law and one count of misconduct in public office.

The criminal complaint in the case details incidents spanning from February of 2010 to February of 2012.

CLICK HERE to read the entire criminal complaint. WARNING: the content described in the complaint is graphic and not suitable for all readers.

Milwaukee Police Association President Mike Crivello claims an MPD policy is to blame -- claiming officers are pushed to meet quotas. Crivello says it is common for MPD officers to be pressured by their superiors to meet quotas as it relates to arrests.

Crivello says officers are expected to do more on the streets, and officers' overall work is being affected.

Crivello said Wednesday while charges against the officers are disturbing, they are just charges -- not convictions.

"If you do certain things that causes others to be pushed to such a limit, something is bound to break. In this situation I think maybe that has been illustrated," Crivello said.

Crivello said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn is partially to blame. He says Chief Flynn broke up police divisions where officers worked in teams and reported to bosses on a nightly basis.

"Officers are moved from squads where they would rather work on -- moved from shifts, moved to different districts -- and the worst thing is that they're humiliated amongst their peers for not hitting what is a quota-like expectation," Crivello said.

Crivello said the alleged crimes don't reflect the nearly 1,700 other officers who make up the Milwaukee Police Association.

CLICK HERE for more stories on the alleged illegal strip searches conducted by MPD officers.

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