Sources: MPD bans one-man squads following threats to officers

CREATED Oct. 8, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 9, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- Threats against Milwaukee police officers have the Milwaukee Police Department making changes.

It involves the controversial case of a man, Derek Williams, who died in police custody last year.

Sources close to the department say Milwaukee's Police Department banned one-man squads for the officers' protection.

This comes as parts of the Milwaukee community are reaching a breaking point with the police department.  Some groups have called for Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn's resignation, others are going beyond that.

"I asked a guy the other day, he said... 'If we take one of them, they're gonna know what we're talking about,'" described community activist Tory Lowe.

Death threats have reportedly pushed Milwaukee's Police Department to assign two officers to every squad car.

"Occupy the Hood" organizer Khalil Coleman understands the frustration.  He worries things may escalate if something isn't done soon.

"We hope that we can keep a peaceful city, but in order for us to do that, we have to begin to address these critical issues," says Coleman.

Police won't discuss the potential threats or the department's response.  Community leaders who have been trying to strike a dialog with the city believe talking is the only way to achieve a positive result.

Reverend Willie Brisco doesn't know of any threats made to police.  He believes the extra officer presence may actually help the cause.

"If they step up their patrols, there's nothing they're gonna put down except the crime that's out there," says Rev. Brisco.  "So if they have two instead of one, they'll be able to fight crime better."

Brisco and other community leaders are still pushing for a meeting with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

A spokeswoman for Milwaukee's Police Department says that the department cannot and will not discuss deployment strategies.