'Highly inappropriate:' MPD tweet about department budget draws criticism from city leader

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department took to Twitter on Thursday, June 11 to criticize city leaders, blaming them for reduced funding and an increase in crime.

The tweet did not sit well with Cavalier Johnson, president of the Milwaukee Common Council, who called it an inappropriate political jab. Johnson also described it as petty and said a conversation would be more appropriate.

MPD's tweet read, in part:

"...the Mayor and Common Council reduced our budget by 60 police officers this year. The homicide rate has more than doubled & non-fatal shootings have increased by over 35% since 2019. #DidYouKnow"

Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson

"I find that to be highly inappropriate use of those police resources," Johnson said.

Now, Johnson is calling for the tweet to be deleted.

"It certainly shouldn't take place in the public square like that," said Johnson.

Almost half of the City of Milwaukee's entire budget goes to police -- a total that is greater than the city's property tax revenue.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales stood by the tweet ahead of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission on Thursday.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales

"It's a statement. It's a statement of facts, and we'll talk more about it after the meeting," said Morales.

Johnson says a conversation between the two groups would've been more productive; instead, it was reduced to pettiness.

"Going to the lengths of issuing political jabs from a law enforcement agency is certainly not the way to it, and it's certainly not something the Council is going to stand for either," Johnson said.

MPD said the tweet was a response to comments about defunding police and the impact doing so would have on the city. The department is looking forward to positive dialogue in the future.