Saturday, March 29, 2008

Congratulations to Chief Ed Flynn and the "good citizens of Milwaukee"

It's about time Milwaukee had a police chief serious about fighting crime while holding his own officers accountable.

In his short tenure Ed Flynn has done a lot of good things. He's empowered subordinates to come up with and implement crime-fighting strategies -- and allows them to take the credit. He quickly and unequivocally defended an officer from an unjustified allegation. And he topped it off by sending the right message to the community: "We will own up when we mess up, and if we mess up, we will be accountable," Flynn said. "But I won't be a punching bag for a group of people looking to develop a constituency at the cost of a police officer, especially when the life of an officer is at risk."

That's the type of leadership the Milwaukee Police Department has needed for a long time. And it's exactly what a real chief should be saying.

And while Flynn deserves a salute, so do two "good citizens of Milwaukee" who did what should have been done in coming to the aid of the officer and the community. Their taking the time to get involved -- to report an impaired motorist and come to the aid of an officer under attack -- deserves the utmost recognition. (You can listen to the 911 calls here.)

A community's safety isn't just the business of the police department. It's a partnership. Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- should forget that.

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