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Milwaukee Common Council rejects $9.7M federal grant to fund 30 police officers

December 15, 2020

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) — The Milwaukee Common Council voted to reject a nearly $10 million federal grant on Tuesday, Dec. 15 that would have paid for more than two dozen police officers. However, the battle to fund those positions is not finished.

During a meeting Tuesday morning, the Common Council voted 9-6 not to accept the $9.7 million federal COPS grant, would have paid for 30 Milwaukee police officers for three years.

Later in the meeting, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd asked the council to reconsider the vote next month. If the decision stands, the Milwaukee Police Department would lose 150 officer positions gradually over the course of next year, instead of the 120 already cut by Mayor Tom Barrett due to budget constraints.

Council members who voted to reject the money say national discussions about policing are forcing them to make tough decisions.

“We are in an era where policing as we know it has to change. Policing as we are accustomed has to be tweaked,” said Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.

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