Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Milwaukee Alderman Unveils Operation Rhino Armored Nuisance Surveillance Police Vehicle

Bottom photo: Alderman Robert G. Donovan, 8th District

Photos by HNG

Police department not responding to low priority calls concerning crime and unanswered calls by police not included in report of double digits low crime statistics within the last six months

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 10, 2010

Milwaukee, WI - On Tuesday, South side Alderman Robert G. Donovan introduced an armored vehicle to be used by police for surveillance of nuisance properties in the area. The armored vehicle was equipped by four cameras and the used vehicle was donated by Garda Security Company.
The cameras will be paid by Operation Impact Project and were installed by Cornerstone. The funds for the project comes from private businesses in the neighorhood to add overtime for police patrol in highly intensity crime reported areas.
The armored truck project is called "Operation Rhino" and it will be based in the 2nd Police District. Police and local neighborhood prosecutors will decide where the vehicle will be used to monitor an area, according to Ald. Donovan.
The vehicle painted by Maaco on S. 13th St. reflects the Milwaukee Police Department's (MPD) antiquated colors of Black and White.
Donovan wants the vehicle to be spotted by those being monitoring for nuisance in the South side. He wants the criminal element to leave Milwaukee and move to cities like Chicago, and states like Minnesota, which is less likely to happen.
During the press conference at the Christian Center, 2100 block of W. Greenfield Ave., Ald. Donovan supported a request for Police Chief Edward Flynn and the department to begin reporting actual statistics of calls made to the department and handled as low priority, in which in many cases police never show up to investigate.
A month ago, Chief Flynn reported that crime had decreased by double digits within the last six months compared to prior crime reports. South side residents and businesses dispute Flynn's statistics alleging Flynn's police policy is not to respond to low priority calls making it less likely for those calls turning into crime investigations, thus getting into the statistics.
Last week, just in the 1200 block of S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive a shoppinglifting and graffiti call was made to MPD. The business owner and others in the same block reported police never showed up.
Reports of police never showing up to low priority calls have been raising concern by residents who say it's happening throughout the City of Milwaukee, since Chief Flynn took office. 
Police District 2 Captain Donald Gagilone said, police have been answering and responding to low priority calls in the district.

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