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Murder in Milwaukee

Steve Spingola published this article at Right Wisconsin. To see the content, please use this link:

http://www.rightwisconsin.com/perspectives/366147491.html

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Steve Spingola is a retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide lieutenant, an author, and an investigator for TNT’s Cold Justice.

The Democrat Party’s War on the Police

Steve Spingola published this article at Right Wisconsin. To see the content, please use this link:

http://www.rightwisconsin.com/perspectives/The-Democratic-Partys-War-on-Law-Enforcement-365602181.html

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Steve Spingola is a retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide lieutenant, an author, and an investigator for TNT’s Cold Justice.

The Rise of America’s Star Chamber

Yesterday, in a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage in all 50 states and, as a result, nullified the votes of over 50 million Americans who had previously voted to affirm traditional marriage.

It is difficult to comprehend the Court’s legal rationale behind its decision. After all, marriage is mentioned absolutely nowhere in the Constitution. The intent of the Fourteenth Amendment, which became the law of the land 1868, was to grant citizenship, as well as civil and legal rights, to former slaves after the Union’s victory in the Civil War. Moreover, the Tenth Amendment, which, the last time I checked, was still a part of the Bill of Rights, states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Nonetheless, the Court’s ruling on same sex marriage likely set in motion a process that would have eventually occurred vis-à-vis the democratic process. A majority of Americans, including most of the staff at SF, would have supported a measure extending such legal rights had they appeared on a ballot.

Still, the Court’s action in this case has, in essence, turned the U.S. Supreme Court into a de facto Star Chamber — a legal institution with roots in sixteenth century England that was used as a political weapon.

At least in the case of same sex marriage, SCOTUS developed a legal precedent — where none previously existed — to expand the liberties of Americans, which is a good thing. The Star Chamber mentality, however, could one day be used as a precedent to usurp constitutional liberties that actually exist, such as Second Amendment restrictions.

The way things currently stand, the Court is only one vote a way from having a left-wing majority, a transformation that might become a reality if the Democrat Party or Jeb Bush prevail in the next presidential election. Certainly, we know what type of justices the Clintons have appointed, Ginsberg and Breyer, while the Bush family has selected an activist liberal, David Souter, and the Court’s current Chief Justice, John Roberts, a jurist who apparently believes that words in the English language have no meaning.

If and when the Court moves to the left, one can easily imagine a federal lawsuit to establish a national gun registry, the first step on the slippery slope to European-style firearms confiscation.

And make no mistake about it, the same cabal of leftists — those who steadfastly claim that the nation lacks the resources or the wherewithal to identify and deport 15 million unlawful immigrants — will use this gun registry to identify, regulate, and/or eventually seize 160 million firearms. Moreover, it is not difficult to ascertain the left’s justification, including the mantra that each round discharged from a firearm emits carbon and, therefore, contributes to climate change.

So, although gay Americans now enjoy the same rights and privileges to marry the person of their choosing, it is important to keep an eye of the rise of America’s Star Chamber.
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Steve Spingola is an author and a retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective.

His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015

The Man Against the Machine: U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner Reins In the NSA

A few decades ago, one of my class instructors joked that, “If pro is the opposite of con, then Congress is the opposite of progress.” With 535 legislators with different agendas, Congress is a body that is often pulled if different directions, many of which are dominated by well-heeled special interests.

This makes Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s USA Freedom Act an unusual species in Washington. This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate with large, bi-partisan support, and was then signed by President Obama.

A U.S. representative since 1979, Sensenbrenner is a leader on legal issues that affect Americans’ privacy. He is keenly aware that the powerful pull the strings vis-à-vis their well-connected hired guns — lobbyists.

With the far, neo-con right ratcheting up the rhetoric regarding the expiration of the USA Patriot Act’s bulk data collection of all Americans’ telephone records, Sensenbrenner was able to build a coalition of Democrats and liberty minded Republicans to debunk the myths being bellowed by the national security statists.

One of the myths being promulgated by the neo-cons: There is no need to worry because the NSA is simply retrieving telephone calls and the length of these calls; none of these conversations are recorded.

First, if the government possesses every telephone call placed, and couples this data with the algorithms the NSA gobbles up by archiving Americans’ e-mails, Web clicks, and posts on various social media Web sites, an intelligence analysis with an eighth grade reading level could easily draw a portrait of any individual’s life. In essence, the government knows what books we read, who we communicate with, our political beliefs, and the means by which Americans exercise their free speech rights.

Second, the NSA does record telephone calls and, anyone who says otherwise is part of the government’s noble lie. Since 9/11, the NSA has recorded trillions of telephone conversations. To learn how these programs work, I would strongly encourage readers to visit the below link:

http://www.wired.com/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

Today, Congressman Sensenbrenner appeared on the Jay Weber Show to discuss the USA Freedom Act. To hear the podcast, please visit the below link:

http://www.newstalk1130.com/media/podcast-jay-weber-show-thejaywebershow/jay-weber-hour-2-part-1-26102606/

Any American concerned with the issue of security vs. privacy should be proud of Sensenbrenner’s accomplishment. Even the secular-progressive Milwaukee Journal Sentinel applauded this rare, bi-partisan legislation and the proposed oversight of these Orwellian government agencies:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/after-carefully-building-coalition-sensenbrenner-savors-win-b99512887z1-306069891.html

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Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice.

His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015

Milwaukee’s Murders by the Numbers

In the first half of 2015, violent crime has ravaged the city of Milwaukee. The following is a demographic breakdown of the city’s 2015 homicides year-to-date:

Milwaukee has experienced 54 homicides;

About 81.5 percent of homicide victims were African-American, although this demographic group represents 40 percent of the city’s population;

About 12 of Milwaukee’s population is Hispanic, but just 7.5 of murder victims were Latino;

About 11 percent of those killed were white, a group that comprises about 45 percent of the city’s population;

About 76 percent of murder victims were shot to death, while stabbings accounted for about 13 percent of murders;

About 87 percent of African-Americans murdered were shot to death;

Seventy-five percent of Hispanic victims were stabbed to death;

Fifty-percent of whites were killed by gunfire.

These statistics illustrate that gun crime in Milwaukee is primarily a north side, inner city problem.

About 400,000 people reside in Milwaukee neighborhoods north of the Menomonee Valley. As such, Mayor Barrett and Police Chief Ed Flynn are asking the state legislature to pass new gun laws due to the actions of just a handful of residence that, in total, represent only seven percent of Wisconsin’s overall population.
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Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice.

His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015

Latest Milwaukee PD Stats Show Crime is UP

For those in the media who apparently do not believe that Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn’s failed policies have come home to roost, the numbers do not lie.

Here is a very recent tally of the City of Milwaukee’s crime stats:

Homicides: 2014 = 17; 2015 = 46, for a 171% increase to date.

As of April 21, 2015, the homicide clearance rates:

2013…………………….67%

2014…………………….49%

2015 (to date)………….48%

Note: when I served in the MPD’s homicide unit in the 1990s, the homicide clearance rate was typically in the low 80 percentile.

Aggravated Assault Firearm: 2014 = 442; 2015 = 608, a 38% increase to date.

Armed (Gun) Robbery: 2014 = 507; 2015 = 563, a 11% increase to date.

Non-fatal shootings: 2014 = 96; 2015 = 127, for a 32% increase to date.

Aggravated assault (non-gun): 2014 = 1139; 2015 = 1267, a 11% increase to date.

Robbery: 2014 = 830; 2015 = 939, a 13% increase to date.

Auto Theft: 2014 = 1462; 2015 = 1724, a 18% increase to date.

Forcible rape: 2014 = 59; 2015 = 44, a 25% decrease to date.

Priority One calls for service: 2014 = 14976; 2015 = 17666, a 18% increase to date.

In addition to the MPD’s restrictive non-pursuit policy, officers are being encouraged to give warnings rather than issuing citations or affecting arrests, which MPD insiders believe is being done to manipulate statistics. Each “stop” constitutes a “dot” on Compstat maps that represents police activity.
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Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice.
His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015

#BeAFarce Turning the Milwaukee PD into a Laughing Stock

On Thursday, the Milwaukee Police Department’s Chief-of-Police, Ed Flynn, held a news conference to discuss the wave of violence that has shaken even the city’s typically complicit media. In the immediate aftermath of the chickens of the chief’s failed policies coming home to roost, Flynn pulled an Obama by taking no responsibility for anything while blaming others.

With the vast majority of the Milwaukee media willing to regurgitate and disseminate Flynn’s tripe, the chief-of-police knows, for the most part, that the gaggle of reporters — ninety percent of whom are liberals that scoff at the Second Amendment — will give the chief a pass while gleefully airing his anti-gun sound bites.

While responding to the usual softball question from reporter Myra Sanchick, who had solicited Flynn’s “reaction to the situation playing out of four people dead,” the police chief blamed a subculture of violence. Certainly, Flynn’s response was disingenuous. Over the course of the last four decades, a subculture of violence has permeated certain sections of the city, which led to the next reporter’s Captain Obvious question:

“Chief [Flynn], any theories as to how that’s changed from last year [when Milwaukee had 19 homicides on April 16, as opposed to the 115% increase in the 2015 murders to date]? What’s going on this year?”

Flynn sighed, noted “an interlocking set of challenges,” and then went on a diatribe about having a rational “discussion of firearms without awaking the sleeping beast of the Second Amendment defenders who have, you know, never met a gun law they liked.”

In the next breath, Flynn did what left-of-center politicos do when their failed policies are exposed — he blamed Milwaukee talk-show hosts. “If we could all turn off our AM radio stations for a couple of days, and engage in rational discourse, about what it takes to effect the thinking of career criminals carrying firearms, we might make some progress.”

http://www.jsonline.com/multimedia/video/?bctid=4177487704001

Clearly, Flynn is desperately grasping for whatever straws he can to prop-up his crumbling administration. The man involved in the homicides that the chief-of-police is referring to, Ricky Ricardo Chiles III, was a convicted felon with a lengthy rap sheet. Chiles was on parole for bank robbery and, according to news reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, was “…sentenced to far less than the maximum penalty of 10 years after the judge was told about his cooperation [with the Milwaukee Police Department] in an unrelated homicide case.”

In essence, Flynn’s police department, in an effort to secure Chiles’ cooperation, sought to secure a lesser sentence for the bank robber to nab a homicide suspect. While this set of circumstances is certainly not unusual, the chief-of-police seems to want it both ways. On one hand, Flynn blames Gov. Walker and the legislature for gun laws that, in the chief’s opinion, are not tough enough. On the other hand, his own department — in conjunction with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office — obtained a get out of jail early card for Chiles.

From my experience in the field, Wisconsin’s gun laws are not the problem. Wisconsin State Statute 941.29 prohibits felons from possessing firearms, while subsection four makes it a felony crime to knowingly furnish a firearm to a felon. Chief Flynn’s straw man argument that the city is awash with guns, and more gun laws would prohibit firearms from falling into the hands of felons, is a red herring used to cover over his own flawed policies.

For example, during this same news conference, Chief Flynn argued some of the 2015 Milwaukee homicides have occurred because of drug violence. The simple possession of narcotics is a crime and each individual illicit drug sale is a felony. Yet few, if any, law enforcement officials would seriously argue that the prohibition of illegal narcotics has prevented users from obtaining their desired commodity.

To answer the reporter’s question to Flynn, which the chief-of-police conveniently ducked, what has changed in Milwaukee is that criminals now believe that the Milwaukee Police Department is a paper tiger. By throwing Officer Christopher Manney under the bus to appease the grievance community, and by implementing policies, such prohibiting the vast majority of vehicle pursuits, the MPD has become the laughing stock of the city’s hoodlums.

A few days ago, this report was typed into the Milwaukee Police Department’s Computer Assisted Dispatch system: “Just occurring…Stolen auto taunting sqd. that can’t pursue. Driving back n forth beeping at the sqd. Same stolen auto tried to ram same officers/sqd yesterday.”

Based on the reports from officers in the field, such as the one above, I have created a new hashtag at Twitter, #BeAFarce, a spoof of Flynn’s MPD motto, “Be a force.”

A few days ago, a supporter of Mayor Barrett’s asked what I would do differently than Flynn, at which time I provided this eight-point response:

• Establish well-organized, well-supervised, and decentralized ASP (Area Specific Policing) units in each district
• Besides ten analysts, gut the Orwellian fusion center and form a narco-gang intel unit, and, then, coordinate with the district ASP units
• Hire 200 officers and adequately staff police districts
• Revitalize and adequately staff the MPD’s once nationally renowned detective bureau by permitting homicide detectives to purse killers, even if overtime is required
• Back-up the officers on the street — those who follow the edicts of the Constitution — instead of throwing them under the bus
• Reorganize IAD by ridding the unit of those who simply say ‘yes’ to the brass instead of conducting independent investigations
• Require each district captain to reach out to community organizations and law-abiding residents of neighborhoods to reestablish a certain trust diminished by the MPD’s abhorrent response times
• Appoint a chief-of-police more concerned with crime suppression than formulating a thesis for a PhD dissertation.

Moreover, the Milwaukee Police Department’s administration is top-heavy and needs reorganization, which should be conducted by a leader who actually lived in Milwaukee, and has an institutional knowledge of the city and its police department.

In interim, Milwaukee is stuck with Chief Flynn, who, unfortunately, since becoming entangled in an extramarital affair with a married reporter, has lost any semblance of independence from the city’s caretaker mayor.

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/48568662.html

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Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015

Zoloft Needed for Newspaper’s Obsession with Walker

If questions concerning the biases of the union reporters and the editors at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel still remain, the newspaper’s over-the-top coverage of Gov. Scott Walker certainly has put those doubts to rest. Never, in the history of this state, has a newspaper assembled at 333 W. State Street been as obsessed with a politician as the Milwaukee Journal Democrat is with Walker.

Quite frankly, since journalists at the newspaper wrap themselves in the myth of objectivity, it is time for these so-called professionals to fully disclose their union ties. For obvious ethical reasons, absent full disclosure, reporters that are members of labor unions should be prohibited from covering the governor.

Moreover, absent full disclosure or a reporter/editor’s recusal, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-wide prescription of Zoloft for WDS (Walker Derangement Syndrome) is in order. Over the course of the past month, there has been very little difference between the content of the JS and a Democratic Party newsletter.

If current trends persist, the Milwaukee Journal Democrat, which has split from its former broadcasting company, will continue its slide into the subscription-less abyss. In the next five years, the possibility exists that the JS will become such a drain on its parent company’s resources that it will be sold-off or purchased for a charm during bankruptcy protection. Targeting candidates that disagree with the politics of their union reporters and editors will certainly cause the majority of the state’s voters to look elsewhere for anything that resembles objective news coverage.

Advertisers, take note.
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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015

Right to Work and Law Enforcement

Within the span of the next month, Gov. Scott Walker will likely sign a right to work bill. This legislation does not prohibit unions; however, it gives those employed in a union shop the ability to opt-out of paying union dues. Proponents of right to work say that compelling an employee to pay for a service they do not necessarily agree with is discriminatory. Opponents of the legislation argue that workers exempt from paying dues will reap union benefits absent any financial contributions.

Yesterday, I was asked how this legislation might affect law enforcement, particularly the Milwaukee Police Association — the union that represents the Milwaukee Police Department’s rank-and-file. Since the devil is in the details, and a work-up of the right to work bill has not been made public, it is difficult to say.

Nevertheless, police unions — the MPA being the most influential — provide a valuable service to law enforcement officers in Wisconsin. Just think of the ways a petty and vindictive police chief could harass and cajole officers who have fallen out of favor. Absent seniority, a veteran copper with twenty-four years on the job could suddenly — and without cause — be transferred from working days to the graveyard shift.

Absent union representation, officers involved in shootings or other uses of force would need to pony-up fifteen to twenty thousand dollars for an attorney to simply guide them through the rigors of an Internal Affairs investigation. Absent a contract with the rank-and-file, a chief-of-police could unilaterally determine an officer’s vacation picks. If a particular person — say, for example, the officer who had leaked information to the media regarding Chief Flynn’s suppression of a voting irregularities report — was in the chief’s dog house, he or she could be regulated to February and November vacations.

So, my advice to ALL officers is this: pay your union dues. Being a police officer is much different than working for the Clerk of Courts or laboring at a brewery. Sitting at a desk or attaching parts on an assembly line is a world away from performing shift work in areas that resemble war torn countries.

Vis-à-vis Act 10 and the cuts to the university system, Gov. Walker is attempting to de-fund the left. Public employee unions, particularly those representing public school teachers, are a huge source of Democratic Party capital. Likewise, ninety percent of the UW System’s professors lean far to the left and, by developing thinly veiled political ‘narratives,’ are happy to reeducate the young minds sent their way. After all, it is taxpayer dollars — the block grants to Saul Alinsky-like community organizations, the dues collected from the public education apparatus, and the grievance agenda of academia — that, to a large extent, fuel the secular progressive left.

Political agendas aside, rank-and-file coppers all over the country are under attack. Clearly, Scott Walker did not lead the protests in New York City that ended with shouts of, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” That crowd was affiliated with Al Sharpton, a man who has visited the White House on numerous occasions to consult with President Obama. Still, the governor’s signature on a right to work bill could negatively impact every law enforcement officer’s quality of life.

Thus, it is important to remember that the only thing separating rank-and-file coppers from a Christopher Manney-style railroading or from the secular progressive cop-haters is the MPA. As Benjamin Franklin said during the signing of the Declaration of Independence, those who find themselves in difficult circumstances need to “hang together” or they will “hang separately.”
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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015

The Letter the “Fish Wrapper” Refused to Publish

Below is a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which the newspaper or, as many old school Milwaukee police officers call it, the “fish wrapper,” refused to publish.  On October 28, after receiving no response from the Journal Sentinel Editorial staff, I e-mail David Haynes — the JS’s Editorial Editor — and requested that the below op-ed be published.  Mr. Haynes never replied to the e-mail.

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October 24, 2014

Dear Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor:

On the first floor of the City of Milwaukee’s Safety Academy, the names and photographs of over five dozen Milwaukee police officers grace a wall that literally showcases their service. This distinguished honor, however, is one that every Milwaukee police officer seeks to avoid, as the faces on this wall are of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

During my three-decades with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), I have spent a great deal of time — as a homicide detective and as a lieutenant — retracing the final moments of those who no longer walk among us. Certainly, some of these tragic deaths could have been avoided. One particular case that comes to mind is the March 19, 1985, coldblooded murders of Rosario Collura and Leonard Lesnieski — two Milwaukee police officers gunned down on the near north side. On that fateful day, the officers approached Terrance Davis, who they suspected of selling drugs from the porch of a home.  When one of the officers asked if he had anything in his pockets, Davis replied, “Yeah, I’ll show you,” at which time he removed a handgun from a pocket and shot both officers to death. What we will never know is why the officers, instead of asking, did not conduct a pat down of Davis.

Seventeen-years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers could conduct a frisk of an individual’s outer most garment if an officer — based on the totality of the circumstances— reasonably believed that a person may be armed. Pat downs have undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous police officers. From experience, few things are as hair-raising as conducting frisk and detecting a concealed weapon on a person.  Yet, 29-years after the deaths of Officers Collura and Lesnieski, the importance of officer safety is being marginalized by the political correctness of Police Chief Edward Flynn.

On October 15, Chief Flynn terminated the employment Officer Christopher Manney, an officer with 13-years of street-level experience, for allegedly conducting a pat down of Dondre Hamilton in violation of MPD policy. After reading the MPD’s allegations and Officer Manney’s response, I sought input from a number of veteran officers.  To a person, we collectively believe Officer Manney’s actions were appropriate. While I typically do not purport to speak for others, I am confident in noting that Chief Flynn’s firing of Officer Manney is being met with widespread condemnation from those who have worn an MPD uniform.

Unfortunately, I believe Chief Flynn’s irresponsible termination of Officer Manney is directly related to his lack of an institutional memory. In 1985, while serving with Officers Collura and Lesnieski at District Five, I have vivid memories of both officers smiling and conversing with their colleagues. During the same period, however, Chief Flynn was an officer in far-away Jersey City.  Thus, the image of Flynn as an east coast carpetbagger is fueling a consensus amongst the rank-and-file that the chief sees those fallen officers on that wall at the Safety Academy as simple strangers from a bygone era. This perception, vis-à-vis his treatment of Officer Manney, is reinforced by the police chief’s de facto memo to the rank-and-file that politics takes precedent over officer safety. No doubt, Chief Flynn is sending a dangerous message that, I believe, may result in more faces appearing on that wall of no return at the Safety Academy.  Will officers — fearful for their careers — be compelled to repeat the disastrous ways of the past by asking a dangerous or unstable person what those “bulges” are in his or her pockets instead of conducting a simple frisk? If only Officers Collura and Lesnieski could speak from the grave.

Sincerely,

Steven Spingola

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Steve Spingola is a retired Milwaukee Police Department Homicide Lieutenant.

During the month of November, Spingola is donating his share of the proceeds from the sale of his book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. 1 & 2, to the Officer Manney Support Fund.

Author Mitchell Nevin is also donating  his November royalties of the print edition of his Milwaukee-based crime novel, The Cozen Protocol, and Glenn Frankovis is also providing his share of the royalties of his book regarding Area Saturation Patrol.  These books make great stocky stuffers and the authors’ share of the proceeds will assist Officer Manney.