Saturday, May 3, 2008

Is this Chief Flynn's first public blunder?

Ed Flynn, Milwaukee's new police chief, has been shaking things up a little with generally positive responses from his department and the community.

Flynn empowered his seven district captains to develop and implement crime reduction strategies in their respective districts, giving them the credit and the spotlight.

He's also made it clear that officers who screw up will be dealt with but those who do their jobs the right way will enjoy his prompt and public backing.

That's why it's a little difficult to swallow what may be his first public blunder.

Flynn is changing the appearance of Milwaukee's patrol cars to the "black and white" look right out of Hollywood (or LAPD, to be exact). But having a "little fun" as Flynn says comes with a price tag of $300 per car.

It's hard to tell how many marked police cars the Milwaukee PD has but the Columbus (Ohio) Police Department has 429 with nearly 200 fewer officers. So let's just say Milwaukee has 10% more officers and 10% more marked cars. At $300 a pop that's nearly $142,000 -- or about the cost of two new police officers.

Black and white police cars or two additional cops on the beat? That's a no-brainer. Hire the cops.


RAG said...

I lost Dad29's comment while trying to post it (sorry).

He liked the black-and-whites for visbility and wondered whether the $300 per car was for some cars or just those that don't come from the factory in black and white.

The answer from Ford to the latter is that two-toned paint is an additional cost option either at the factory or aftermarket.

burbcop said...

Ironically one of the reasons departments went to white with distinctive reflective stripes is for visibility enhancements.

If it was a small department with a few cruisers that wouldn't be an issue but when you could put a couple of extra officers on the road, I'd vote for the officers.

And, besides, today's improved lighting is so bright that it's hard to miss a police cruiser these days. (Not to mention the times when you'd rather not be seen that far in advance. Just ank any inner-city cop how many "po po" alerts dirtbags give out.)

RAG said...

In fairness, as "blunders" go this isn't terribly big EXCEPT that it makes it difficult for Flynn to go to the common council and ask for more personnel.