Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
In early September, a source very close to the Milwaukee Police Department sent me the following e-mail:
“Just a sample of last night's happenings:
400 E Michigan- off-duty sheriff deputy gets jumped by group of guys who beat the crap out of him sending him to the hospital and they took personal belongings...making it a robbery. NO ARE DISPATCHED, despite detectives being available.
4800 N Teutonia-three armed suspects carjack a victim and get away with victim's car. NO DETECTIVES ARE SENT, despite detectives being available.
Add to that the apparent rule of thumb that a gunshot wound anywhere but the torso will have officers doing the initial investigation. Detectives may be assigns follow-up down the road.
This is all being done to save money. Trimming budgets in these economic times is necessary, but the way Flynn is doing it will have long-term effects on how the department is run. Crime clearances will go down which will leave more criminals on the street which will lead to a rise in crime rates.
Tom Barrett is willing to put public safety on the table before making other budgetary moves...voters should know about this.”
Yes, they should. Combine this with today’s stunning development that the long-troubled MPD radio system OpenSky went dead for about 30 minutes. No officers could make contact with one another, setting up a deadly, dangerous situation.
This needs to be corrected immediately. If it can’t be fixed, the system needs to be scrapped before an innocent officer is killed.
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WTMJ Radio got reaction from Police Chief Flynn.
For Immediate Release
For Further Information Contact:
Is Barrett Playing Politics with Officer Lives?
OpenSky Radio Blackout the Second This Year
The $18 million OpenSky fire and police radio system was five years late and millions over budget when Mayor Tom Barrett finally found a reason to declare mission accomplished. With one month remaining before the gubernatorial election, Barrett had his police chief declare the system fully operational.
October 1 Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn declared, "We're announcing, sooner than we really wanted to, that on Wednesday, September 22nd, we flicked the switch, so to speak, and made the total conversion to 700 megahertz on the digital system."
A week later, the entire system crashed, as it had earlier this year.
“Barrett knew the danger because the system had crashed before,” said
CRG has documented the January 9th crash as well as failures in multiple tests of the system over months of research. CRG has combed through over 1,000 pages of fire and police documents on OpenSky to bring the scandal to light.
“How many more times will we accept being lied to about OpenSky? We got lucky this time. The Mayor needs to get the job done and stop playing poker with the lives of police officers, fire fighters and the public,” said Kliesmet. “Politics should stop where lives are on the line.”