Dems want more gun laws, GOP more officers

Milwaukee Police Association, Rebecca Kleefisch, community members urge city leaders to crack down on violent crime

Representatives from the Milwaukee Police Association, Republican candidate for governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and community members urge city leaders to crack down on violent crime. This, after a rather violent weekend in the downtown area.

After an especially violent weekend in Milwaukee, where nearly two dozen people were shot in a roughly two-hour span Friday night – 17 of them in one of three downtown Milwaukee incidents – Republican candidates for governor shared their plans for more cops while Democrats say tougher gun laws are needed.

Three Republicans running for governor pitched their ideas for fighting crime.

Tim Michels wants 50% more cops in the state’s most dangerous neighborhoods. His new plan calls for incentives to attract new officers. He says he wants a new law that felons caught with guns should serve a minimum of two years.

On Friday, in the hours following the Bucks’ Game 6, shootings in downtown Milwaukee injured 21 people.

Shooting scene near Water and Juneau, Milwaukee

“We had as many officers down here as we could, but obviously, the criminals that were involved in this, they obviously had no regard for human life and just opened fire probably in a crowd of 300-500 people,” said Alex Ayala , VP of the Milwaukee Police Association.

The Milwaukee Police Association and the Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police stood outside Fiserv Forum Monday as the person they’re backing for governor repeated her plan to fight crime.

“Our streets are a war zone,” said Mark Sette, VP of Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police.

“We need Milwaukee to be a safe place for families, the Deer District to be a destination and not the ‘Fear District’ anymore,” said Rebecca Kleefisch, Republican candidate for governor.

Kleefisch says she wants to add 1,000 more cops in the state and use the Wisconsin State Patrol to help in areas with growing violent crime.

Shooting scene near Water and Juneau, Milwaukee

Democrats also say the Republican Legislature isn’t giving Milwaukee a fair amount of shared revenue, and they point to the Legislature not approving a referendum that would ask Milwaukee County voters if they’d approve a higher county sales tax.

“This is not about more money,” said Kleefisch. “This is about putting money where it is needed most badly and that is protecting families of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.”

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson called on state lawmakers to tighten gun laws during a weekend press conference.

“We don’t control gun law at the local level,” said Johnson. “I wish that we did, but we don’t. That’s something for Madison to work out, and I implore my partners in Madison, who I intend to work with, to open your eyes to what is happening here in Milwaukee. Just think about it.If public safety becomes an issue downtown and folks stop spending their dollars here,people stop coming here for things like we had last night,that impacts state coffers.as well.They get the sales tax revenue from that.This impacts the entire state. I would implore our partners at the state to see the lives that are being lost, needlessly, senselessly, because folks have too easy access to guns, not just in Milwaukee but across our state.”

The mayor had meetings throughout the day Monday on the violence. He’s also calling on the state to approve tougher gun laws, explaining the need to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

While Kleefisch says there are good gun laws on the books, she says prosecutors need to do a better job in bringing charges.

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Republican Kevin Nicholson’s plan includes setting minimum sentences and bail for violent crime.

Democratic Governor Tony Evers’ campaign says he’s invested $100 million into public safety and violence prevention.

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