West Allis - We Serve By Not Protecting?
It's been a bad couple of months for the West Allis Police Department.
First, West Allis authorities justifiably invited ridicule by announcing that their solution to the increasing number of auto thefts in their community would be to distribute "The Club" to residents. In other words, authorities are saying that they are unable to catch car thieves operating in West Allis - so they'll try to make it a little bit harder for them to rip off vehicles.
That's hardly very inspiring! It's also not good news for residents of surrounding communities - where West Allis is presumably trying to chase the criminals.
This was hardly a Chamber of Commerce moment. How's this for a slogan: "Move To West Allis And We'll Give You A Club". Where do I sign up?
Then there was the riot on the opening night of the State Fair - that caught West Allis Police woefully unprepared.
Now, the Nazis are coming.
This Saturday, a small, ragtag band of neo-Nazi's are holding a rally at West Allis City Hall. In a classic overreaction, West Allis authorities are suggesting that people stay behind locked doors and that area businesses close during the rally. In other words, West Allis Police are saying that they might not be able to assure the safety of citizens during this "event".
Forget "Serve and Protect". In West Allis, it's "Serve By Not Protecting".
I find it unbelievable that West Allis would suggest that it's businesses close down on Saturday. If I were a taxpayer or a business owner, my response to authorities would be "do your job"!
Unlike the State Fair riot, this "Rally" is not a surprise. West Allis Police should make sure they have enough officers on hand (or available through mutual aid agreements) to deal with any potential problems. If authorities don't think they can guarantee public safety, then the group shouldn't have gotten a permit for the rally in the first place.
Hopefully, this whole thing will turn out to be much ado about nothing. Still, it's another indication that law enforcement authorities in West Allis have a peculiar approach to public safety.