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As I See It

A better plan needed to address police staffing needs

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There is no dispute that police departments are having a hard time attracting recruits. It is hardly a new issue. In fact, there have been fewer applicants for police jobs for more than ten years in Wisconsin. It has gotten worse following the murder of George Floyd and amid a pandemic. But a Republican plan for providing more support for Wisconsin’s police departments seems little more than a stunt. Top legislative republicans held a news conference this week to announce a plan to provide bonuses to newly hired officers. They would also launch a marketing campaign to try to lure candidates from out of state. Not necessarily bad ideas, but it doesn’t seem those pushing the plan are all that serious. They compiled their plan with no democratic input, after cutting Governor Evers’ budget proposal to increase state aid to communities to help pay for things like law enforcement. But this latest plan is flawed because they propose paying for it with money from the American Rescue Plan Act. That money is spent at the discretion of the Governor, and is one-time money. But this is not a one-time problem, and funding for solving it needs to be sustained. Lawmakers should work to address police shortages, but should do so in a bipartisan and sustainable way.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Michael Sladky

    January 6, 2022 at 8:10 am

    Well Robert, why don’t you tell your progressive liberal friends to come up with some ideas for attracting new police recruits and stop crying.

  2. TOM FITZPATRICK

    January 6, 2022 at 9:16 am

    We don’t just need more police officers. We need better police officers. While La Crosse is fortunate that most officers are well trained and have the right temperament to not abuse their power and authority, the same cannot be said for many other police departments. We need to hire officers with the proper psychological make-up to preserve and protect regardless of the race or color of the people they encounter. I have seen officers who react with unnecessary force and with racial animus. That must end for us to have a peaceful and law abiding society. This should not be a partisan issue.

  3. Nick Berry

    January 6, 2022 at 10:38 am

    I agree with you that is a long term problem and there are many factors that go into finding police officers.
    The legislature should be doing it can to clean up the pea’s problem not only in French Island but the entire state and they have funds available to so.
    Everyone should be writing their state reps to advise them either do so or get voted out of office. The only thing they would understand is just that- inaction leads to defeat.

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