Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Opportunity to Heal or Another Match on the Racial Bonfire

At the Finance & Personnel Committee hearing covering the Police Department there was a bit of a dust up when the Vice-President of the Milwaukee Police Assocation, Mark Buetow, brought the feelings and potential consequences of the recent firing of a police officer by Chief Ed Flynn to the attention of the committee.

First let me tell you where I stand at this point in time. I'm very sorry for the loss of the family involved. The Chief has every right to fire the officer.  The officer has every right to appeal the Chief's decision (thank you unions). Until I know all the specifics of the case I'm not comfortable saying whether the officer should be charged with a crime and if one is pursued I'm glad I won't be on that jury.

Mr. Buetow as a representative of the MPA, was given an opportunity to discuss how the budget may affect his members. He started off by mentioning that 3 furlough days were still in effect for the police yet there are eliminated for most Milwaukee employees. I'd imagine this is because of Act 10.

Then he brought up the "politically motivated firing of our brother officer" and its effect on the officers job and career along with a slam at Chief Flynn.

This prompted a response from Alderwoman Coggs who was "truly disgusted" by the political aspect of Mr. Buetow's bringing up the "Red Arrow incident" during the budget process.

After her rebuke, Alderman Stamper chirped in with a hearty amen.

Then Alderman Hamilton finished the trifecta of attacks with a direct charge on Mr. Buetow's person while talking about working together like adults. He then finished off his remarks by saying he didn't even want to hear or allow a response from Buetow.

Alderman Joe Dudzik finished off by saying that there's been a fair amount of politicking by both sides of the issue and he wanted to gracefully move to another matter.

This is emblematic of the huge divide between police and the community on the north side of Milwaukee.

I find the incident interesting in that will the county unions stand behind the "brother" in this case?  If so, will it bring a divide between the black community and unions?  If a true discussion happens will all sides drop the damaging politically correct bandwagon and truly talk and more importantly listen to each other to move the issue forward.

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