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Wisconsin may increase public safety near Foxconn facility



MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. (AP) — Police officials in southeast Wisconsin are hoping to increase public safety services to prepare for the influx of people and traffic resulting from Foxconn Technology Group’s manufacturing complex.

The village of Mount Pleasant’s Finance/Legal/License Committee on Tuesday unanimously recommended approving funding for four additional police officers for next year, The Journal Times reported . The Village Board will now consider the proposal.

The Police Department is seeking $150,000, which would be funded by a tax increment district set up for the Foxconn development. The hiring process could begin as early as July, officials said.

Special Foxconn legislation that passed last year provides public safety funds and allows the village to increase department personnel, said Village President Dave DeGroot.

Authorities are particularly concerned about increases in crime related to drugs, alcohol, prostitution and human trafficking as officials expect more people to travel through the area. The Police Department is also focusing on a potential increase in traffic issues.

“The majority of our issues in the beginning are going to be traffic-related, no question about it,” Police Chief Tim Zarzecki said. “But the local municipality, the Village of Mount Pleasant, is expected to provide those (emergency) services, both police and fire. So that’s why we need to ramp up our police department to be able to handle the influx of calls.”

Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan, plans to build a plant that will manufacture advanced liquid crystal display panels. Officials have said it could employ as many as 13,000 people. It will cost taxpayers over $4.5 billion.

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