Posts tagged “MPA

Ads on Crime and the Recall

Over the course of the past week, a handful of people have inquired about the validity of some of the political ads bombarding the airwaves in the final days of Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election.

An ad run by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s campaign committee attempts to tar Gov. Scott Walker with the guilt by association brush linked to an ongoing Joe Doe probe in Milwaukee County.  Barrett’s ad claims that an aide to Walker will soon be “indicted”

In Wisconsin, persons accused of criminal misconduct are not “indicted,” they are charged in a criminal complaint. Moreover, John Doe investigations are secretive inquires conducted in a closed courtroom.  The participants are sworn to keep information provided to either the court or to investigators confidential.  So either Barrett’s campaign is working hand-in-hand with an operative that is violating a judge’s secrecy order or the ad is fabricating information. If the former is true, the ad  itself calls for an investigation.

Gov. Walker’s campaign is running a spot accusing Mayor Barrett of purposely misrepresenting Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) crime statistics.

But unlike other departments within City of Milwaukee government, the police department is a semi-autonomous organization.  In other words, at least on paper, the mayor does not directly oversee the activities of the chief-of-police. That is the job of the Fire and Police Commission (FPC)—a civilian oversight board appointed by the mayor. Since the FPC’s members are close enough to the mayor to receive appointments, when the mayor whispers in their ears, they are likely to support Barrett’s policies. Nonetheless, Mayor Barrett’s office likely had little if any involvement in the collection and reporting of MPD crime statistics. 

In the past, however, Mike Crivello, the President of the Milwaukee Police Association (MPA), appeared in front of the Fire and Police Commission and questioned the MPD’s crime stats. Having read through minutes of the FPC’s meetings, it appears the board did little, if anything, to independently verify or debunk Crivello’s complaint.  For example, the FPC might have requested an audit by the city comptroller.

SF’s advice to recall election voters: look for the candidate that runs on and stands by his record. After all, these campaign ads illustrate that politicians say an awful lot of things, but, at the end of the day, it is what they do that affects our daily lives.

Just Released: Cozen Protocol Shortcut Guide for Readers

In the fast-paced age we live-in, finding the needed time to delve into a 328-page novel is sometimes impossible. Now, there is some good news for time conscious readers.

Last Friday, R & G Readers released the shortcut version of The Cozen Protocol—the crime novel that uses the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department as its backdrop, while blending—what some MPD veterans believe—elements of real incidents with fiction.

For more information, visit:

The shortcut version provides a chapter-by-chapter summary of The Cozen Protocol, provides a list of characters, and explains the novel’s vernacular.


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit:

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012

Two Major Police Unions Make Endorsements in State-Wide Recall

With this summer’s state-wide recall elections quickly approaching, two major police unions have made their endorsements in the race for governor.

The Wisconsin Professional Police Officers Association (WPPA), an umbrella group that represents officers from smaller police agencies, has endorsed Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  This is an interesting decision, especially since Barrett figuratively put a gun to the leadership of the Milwaukee Police Association (MPA)—a group whose members were exempted from Gov. Walker’s Act 10 budget repair bill—and threatened furlough days for Milwaukee police officers if they refused  to accept Act 10 provisions.

So how can Barrett advocate for the repeal of Act 10 and then demand than his city’s police officers, who received an exemption, comply with the provisions of this act for the purposes of trimming millions of dollars from the City of Milwaukee’s budget?

“At a news conference at WPPA headquarters,” Real Clear Politics reports, “Barrett insisted he supports collective bargaining rights for all public workers. He said he made the request to expand the law to Milwaukee police and firefighters because he realized Walker was trying to “divide and conquer” public workers and he couldn’t afford to pit city workers against one other.”

But other labor leaders are suspicious of Barrett, as they believe the mayor gladly used the provisions of Gov. Walker’s budget repair bill. One of the state’s largest public employee unions released a video highly critical of the Milwaukee mayor.

Moreover, one has to challenge the wisdom of Jim Palmer, the current WPPA Executive Director.  Why would a police union endorse Barrett—a politician who insists that police officers, who received an exemption from Act 10 by Gov. Walker, lose their exemption?  Why not endorse Kathleen Falk, who has made a quid pro quo deal with state unions to repeal Act 10 or support Gov. Walker, who exempted Palmer’s members from Act 10?

Some of you might recall that Palmer from this prior SF post.

On the other side of the coin, the two public safety unions that know Barrett best—the Milwaukee Police Association and the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association—have endorsed Gov. Walker.

“Gov. Walker has a strong record of supporting public safety with an unwavering commitment to first responders,” said Michael Crivello, president of the Milwaukee Police Association.

As the recall election quickly approaches, it remains to be seen how these law enforcement endorsements will affect the outcome.  However, if the last state Supreme Court race is a barometer, a few hundred votes might decide who wins or loses.


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012