MILWAUKEE, WI — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is speaking out against a bill that would force the city to pay police officers and firefighters under disciplinary review.
Assembly Bill 606 states while a fire or police officials is being disciplined, the person cannot be deprived of any salary or wages. The bill proposes that the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission would have 120 days for a resolution. In the meantime, the suspended officers and firefighters would continue to be paid. However, their paychecks and benefits would stop if a judge finds probable cause a crime was committed.
“They’re trying to make us pay salaries for people who have been charged with crimes and it’s got to stop,” Mayor Tom Barrett said in a press conference Sunday.
Interim Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said the bill could hurt community relationships.
“We can’t earn the public’s trust when we can show impartiality by some of the methods we are using and how we judge ourselves,” Interim Chief Morales said.
A sponsor of the bill representative Janel Brandtjen said the bill will allow officials to clear their names.
“I think that everyone deserves a fair trial and so this would allow no later than 120 days that there would have to be a hearing and a decision,” Brandtjen said.
Assembly Bill 606 would also change who is appointed to the Fire and Police Commission. Mayor Barrett would have to choose from a list of individuals and a police officer and firefighter would have to be on the commission.
The bill is expected to get a vote on Tuesday.