Mayor Barrett believes MPD officers should be required to live in city limits

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. | Photo: Today's TMJ4

Mayor Barrett believes MPD officers should be required to live in city limits

By Matt Montgomery. CREATED Feb 22, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Should Milwaukee police officers have to live in city limits as part of their job?

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other city leaders believe so -- and the mayor joined Wisconsin's Afternoon News to defend his position.

Barrett, quite simply, believes that living in the city is a condition of employment, and police officers and firefighters know this when they accept the job.

Mr. Barrett said it wasn't a matter of being forced -- it should be that you get to live in the city with a good paying job with great benefits.  He acknowledged the hard work that goes into police and firefighters work as well.

He brought up the fact that they had over 5,700 applicants in 2008 for Milwaukee firefighters and over 3,500 Milwaukee police officers in 2010.  Barrett doesn't want to force people to take a job they don't want to -- at the same time, they have plenty of people that want to serve the city and follow that requirement.

Barrett suggested that the issue could be brought up in collective bargaining and recommends if it is that big of an issue, everyone should "bargain at the table."

Barrett also addressed a question if he will run for governor in a possible recall election of Gov. Walker.  Barrett said he is running for mayor and focusing on that at the moment -- because he said he loves being mayor of Milwaukee.  He didn't completely rule out running for governor -- saying "you never know what could happen."  Barrett concluded the discussion by saying he is still hoping to be drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.