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Chief Flynn renews call for public safety issues in Milwaukee to be considered a state problem

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn spoke at the Milwaukee Press Club's Newsmakers Luncheon Thursday, September 29th -- and his message to state lawmakers on preventing violence in Milwaukee was that we're all in this together.

"Sure, more cops would help -- but the local taxpayer shouldn`t have to foot 100% of the bill when the entire state depends on Milwaukee`s productivity -- the entire state uses its amenities," Flynn said.mke-press-club

Flynn on Thursday renewed his call for public safety issues in Wisconsin's largest city to be viewed as a state problem.

This, as Milwaukee is approaching its 100th homicide in 2016, and the city experienced its deadliest month in 25 years in August.

Ed Flynn

Ed Flynn

"It`s the height of political hypocrisy to put all of this on this mayor, that mayor, or the other, and by extension, their ratepayers, while everyone else says `not my problem.` But you know damn well if there`s a tornado in I-don`t-know-where County, Wisconsin, the money we`ve poured into this state from our taxes is gonna go out there and no one`s gonna blink an eyelash," Flynn said.

Flynn continued his call for a state law mandating harsher sentences for repeat misdemeanor offenders caught illegally carrying a gun.

"If most of the homicides here are committed by armed criminals, it would seem to me to make sense that that subset of crime – being caught with an illegal gun with a criminal record – should result in a significant criminal justice sanction," Flynn said.


As for another issue getting a lot of attention -- FOX6's A.J. Bayatpour asked Chief Flynn what is keeping MPD from releasing video of the officer-involved shooting of Sylville Smith in Milwaukee on August 13 considering police in Charlotte released body camera video of the officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, which happened more recently than the Smith shooting.

Sylville Smith

Sylville Smith

"We`re not gonna do anything against the advice of the local attorney general or the local district attorney. We`re part of the system, and to the extent they want to keep the tape until they make a determination, I`m not gonna try to pull the rug out from underneath them," Flynn said.

The case is currently under review by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office. The Wisconsin Department of Justice has said it doesn't want the video released until after a charging decision is made.

Flynn added that he implores the public to not view body cameras as the ultimate solution to questions about police accountability.

"What you’re going to see on that tape is frequently going to be ambiguous, difficult to interpret," Flynn said, "And you know what? Sometimes the camera’s gonna be pointed that way and sometimes it got turned on late. These things – technology is not perfect."

Flynn also touched on several other issues, including his thoughts on the controversial "Stop and Frisk" policy formerly used in New York City mentioned by Donald Trump during Monday's presidential debate.

"There’s no question it worked," Flynn said, "Going from 2,200 homicides to under 300 homicides."

Flynn went on to say New York City stuck with the program for too long, adding stop-and-frisk can only work if the community supports it and the policy is applied specifically while protecting the rights of citizens - i.e., not patting down every person who's stopped.

"There’s such a thing as diminishing returns," Flynn said, "(The) problem in New York is they continued to put their feet on the pedal throughout the dramatic decreases of the (2000s and 2010s) and alienated the people they were trying to help."

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  • Donor county resident

    We have this terrible thing called shared revenue. This means that taxes are paid to the state and doled out based on “need”. Waukesha pays more into the state than it receives back. Milwaukee, on the other hand, receives more than it pays in. Those of use in the surrounding counties have been footing the bill for Milwaukee’s failures.
    * Dumping of raw sewage into our waterways
    * Uncontrolled crime spilling across its borders
    * Rampant welfare dependency and abuse
    * Plummeting property values
    Oh, and we still got stuck paying for Miller Park and the new Bucks arena.

  • Opinion8d

    Where is the new highlighting the Chief’s comments on ‘Stop n Frisk’??? That to me is the big story here. However, his comment about the community support of it is off base. Who cares if the community supports it, or should I say it depends on what community?? They BLM folks will always oppose anything that promotes law and order. They want a black panther run city….. His comment on diminishing returns is flawed as I think the only thing diminishing was the resolve of the leaders supporting SnF. Glad to hear he’s in favor of it. Sad that he’s under the thumb of Barrett and can’t do things completely the way he would want.

  • JR227

    Donor county resident is RIGHT ON! Most plausible solution is a new mayor and police chief……a reincarnation of Chief Harold Breier would suffice. ;)

  • Unicorns and rainbows

    Liberal Ed Flynn addressing the liberal Milwaukee Press and of course they blame someone else and take no responsibility.

  • Jeffrey

    Chief Flynn has a point; crime in Milwaukee is a problem for all Wisconsinites, yes? Agreed. Those living outside of Milwaukee regularly travel to the city for entertainment, dining and educational events. True enough.

    But, the Chief has a critical flaw in his plea for unity and assistance among communities statewide; the liberal policies and positions implemented by the City of Milwaukee, as directed by its liberal Mayor, are aiding and contributing to the issues facing the city. The city is fostering a hand-holding, sympathetic culture to an entire generation which neither acts with, nor accepts any responsibility for its actions.

    Police who are not allowed to pursue in high-speed vehicle chase situations (typically youth auto theft), a Mayor who does not believe in cracking! down on crime for 1st, 2nd or even 3rd time offences, Milwaukee City & County Judges who continually, routinely default to lesser charge court decisions resulting in walk-away/ no penalty prosecutions, even in repeat crime situations, become incubators for a continued and ever spreading crime epidemic within the City and the County.

    As a result, SE Wisconsinites are now experiencing continued, ever growing ‘exported crime’ within their communities; Racine, Kenosha, Ozaukee & Washington to name four adjoining counties. Unprecedented in my lifetime, we’ve even witnessed State Representatives threaten the City of Milwaukee with retaliation for its involvement (or lack thereof) in not policing ‘it’s citizens’.

    Wake up, Chief Flynn. The problem resides with the Bürgermeister, in the Rathaus & Stadtverwaltung!

  • confused

    How can you even COMPARE a tornado community getting funding to the deliberate crime of Milwaukee to get funding for cops? omg a tornado HAPPENS; the shootings,stabbings, laying on your babies till they die, looting, arson, beatings, dealing, oding-these are all INTENTIONAL and have no consequences to the doer. Fine the crap out of the doers (oh i gots no job yeah you do all that drug $), seize their property, sell it and use that $ to get more cops. When the thug families try to sue give them $1 only $1 because that’s all they were ever worth. The families only step in when the thug is shot.

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