Abele, Clarke spar over plan to have MPD handle 9-1-1 calls, parks patrol

Abele, Clarke spar over plan to have MPD handle 9-1-1 calls, parks patrol

By Matt Montgomery & WTMJ News Team. CREATED Sep 24, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep 24, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee's County executive and sheriff are speaking out about a plan for the Milwaukee Police Department to take over the 9-1-1 system and patrols of parks and the lakefront. 

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he's furious.

"This is nothing more than a shell game from County Executive Abele," said Clarke to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."  "It's another example to further undermine my authority as it relates to public safety."

But, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says the plan is not personal, but instead focused on saving money.

"The police departments both in the city and the suburbs have been doing the parks patrols for some time," said Abele to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."  "There is money in the sheriff's budget to do it (patrol parks and lakefront) but he (Clarke) hasn't been doing it."

The county would have net savings of $1.7 million from the deal, according to county Budget Director Craig Kammholz.

"Taxpayers should feel pretty good about it," said Abele about the proposal.

But the plan cuts approximately $3.3 million from Sheriff Clarke's budget and will lead to about 23 layoffs in his department.

"I think the taxpayers of Milwaukee County are getting bamboozled on this deal."

Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic released a statement about the proposal, writing in part:

"The Board looks forward to robust discussion of this proposal during budget deliberations as we invite the most important stakeholders to the table: the public. We certainly hope today's media announcement does not leave anyone with the impression that this proposal is a done deal."

The new policing would take effect in 2013, according to the proposal.

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