MILWAUKEE -- A 31-year-old Milwaukee police officer was shot and wounded early Sunday, July 17th while on the scene of a domestic violence related call. As a response to that incident, MPD officials said "effective immediately and until further notice," officers will hit the streets with two people per squad car.
The call for two-person patrols has been made before. One question is whether MPD can afford it.
Milwaukee Police Officer Brandon Baranowski was seated alone in his patrol car when a suspect approached on foot and fired a gun several times into the squad, striking the officer several times.
“While he was in his car, the suspect came up along the passenger side of the vehicle and fired multiple shots into the vehicle," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.
"At that moment, he was doing his best to provide safety to a woman and child in the middle of a domestic violence situation," William Jessup, MPD assistant chief said.
Mayor Barrett said the officer was hit in the arm and chest.
"I do believe this was an ambush. Again, it was not an ambush in the sense of Baton Rouge, but the officer was sitting in his squad and was shot. That, to me, is an ambush. He was ambushed," Mayor Barrett said.
In response to the shooting, which left Baranowski with non-life threatening but serious injuries, MPD officials announced officers in every MPD district will send out officers in pairs.
"We`ve already, during the course of the day, directed all of our districts to go to two person squads," Jessup said.
This will continue until further notice, according to MPD -- in light of what happened in Milwaukee and Baton Rouge on Sunday. There, six law enforcement officers were shot, and three lost their lives.
MPD officials said given what happened Sunday in Milwaukee and Louisiana, officers will feel more comfortable responding as two-person units.
Alderman Bob Donovan, chair of the Milwaukee Common Council's Public Safety Committee said he agrees with the decision -- but wonders how long it will last.
"I hope that lasts more than a weekend. We heard the same testimony, or the same promise after the Dallas incident and after a couple days it was back to one-man squads -- so that concerns me," Donovan said.
For a long time, Donovan has said he believes Milwaukee police have been underfunded and understaffed.
"You can`t expect this department to continue to do more with less and less and less. I am hopeful that we can take the appropriate steps, steps that quite frankly, some of us have been calling for for years," Donovan said.
As for how long the two-person squads will be out on the streets, MPD says they'll address it on a day by day basis.
Donovan added he hoped to visit the injured officer in the hospital Sunday evening if possible.