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Milwaukee Mayor's office announces 1,500 cop furloughs for 2013

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MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The Milwaukee mayor’s office says people will not notice any reduction in police service, when 1,500 officers go on three-day furloughs later this year.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke mentioned the furloughs on national TV Monday, as a reason that people should learn how to protect themselves – and not just call 911 and wait for officers to save the day.

Pat Curley, the chief of staff to Mayor Tom Barrett, said the Milwaukee Police furloughs were necessary to avoid layoffs – and to give those officers a 4 percent pay raise this year. And Curley says they’re scheduled in a way that avoids any reduction in officers on the street.

Meanwhile, Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says 911 should be people’s first option when crime hits. He also agreed that folks can reduce their chances of being victims by installing dead-bolt locks, alarms, and better lighting.

Nehls also said his officers have more experience than Clarke’s in dealing with violent crimes. That’s because the vast majority of Milwaukee County’s land area is served by municipal police.

As a result, Nehls said Milwaukee County deputies handled just 17 violent crimes in 2009 and 2010, while Dodge County had 59.

Nehls says he has nothing against Clarke – but he just wanted to point out that his office has more experience in handling violent crime. 

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