Does The Milwaukee Police Department Still Drug Test?
After yesterday, I have two questions: First, does the Milwaukee Police Department use random drug testing; and, if so, when was the last time Police Chief Ed Flynn was checked?
After Flynn's latest press conference Monday, I have to wonder: can anybody really be that pig-headed and arrogant or was the Chief high?
I'm a huge fan of Summerfest ( and Summerfest CEO Don Smiley ) and view it as a true local treasure. That's not to say though that Summerfest officials aren't capable of making mistakes. They are - and they certainly did on Saturday night.
Summerfest booked an extremely popular band, Imagine Dragons, for a 10:00 pm show on a free stage. This led to a large crowd on the grounds and lines of of people who waited almost two hours to buy tickets outside the gates. Not surprisingly, problems developed with people waiting an unreasonable amount of time to get onto the grounds.
These problems were made worse however when the Milwaukee Police encouraged Summerfest officials to relieve the crowding outside by simply opening the gates and admitting people for free. This ill-considered decision resulted in several thousands of fest-goers bum rushing the various entrances and further increasing the crowding inside the grounds.
According to several callers to my radio show Monday, this led to an uncomfortably crowded situation inside the festival gates that completely overwhelmed security and created some truly dangerous situations
Thankfully, no one was seriously injured.
Enter Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn who declared Monday that nothing could have been done differently on Saturday and that the Department has no plans for changing the way it handles Summerfest crowds in the future.
Typical Flynn: let's not admit we bungled a situation and let's not learn from our mistakes.
It seems to me that Summerfest made three major mistakes: They booked a band onto a stage that was too small for the crowd it was likely to draw; they failed to have enough ticket sellers to address the demand; and they failed to have enough security to deal with the huge crowd. I'm confident they can address these matters moving forward.
However letting thousands of people simply storm onto the grounds without tickets in a massive wave was dumb in the extreme. In some respects, it is the flip side of the idiotic decision authorities made during the mini-riot at State Fair a few years ago. You know, the one where they forced unruly and out of control teenagers off the Midway and into surrounding the surrounding neighborhoods.
I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time - but I'm sure officials would never do it again. State Fair officials learned from their mistake.
What's more than a little troubling however is that the Chief of Police either doesn't appreciate or simply doesn't want to admit that Saturday night was a disaster waiting to happen - and that letting people storm the already overcrowded Summerfest grounds for free wasn't a very good solution.
Which makes me wonder: is Flynn pig-headed, crazy or high? It has to be one of the three!