Milwaukee neighborhood and business groups would be able to hire off-duty police officers for extra patrols under a measure proposed by an alderman, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The pay-for-patrols plan is getting a lukewarm response from Mayor Tom Barrett and others amid concerns that it would create a two-tier system when it comes to police protection. Alderman Tony Zielinski said his plan would not reduce existing police staffing for any area of the city. “The feeling I get from people is they want more police officers on the street, that’s loud and clear,” he said. “If you don’t want to pay for it, you don’t have to. It doesn’t cost you any extra money.”
While Zielinski’s plan received support from the head of Milwaukee’s largest police union, Common Council President Willie Hines and other aldermen raised concerns about how it would be implemented. Barrett said he was skeptical it could be done without hurting police deployment in other areas. He also said it would send a bad message to city taxpayers, who already pay for police services.