On Thursday, June 24, the Milwaukee County Board will vote on creating 3 new deputy sheriff positions using $300,000 from the county mental health budget. These funds are coming in connection with the Crisis Assessment Response Team (CART) program, which replaces a deputy sheriff with a mental health professional on calls relating to mental health crises.
Please contact your county supervisor (find them here) to demand they oppose the creation of new deputy sheriffs using mental health dollars. When calling, express support for the CART program because replacing deputies with mental health clinicians on mental health calls reduces the risk of people in crisis being assaulted, arrested, and incarcerated. However, it is inappropriate and absurd for the sheriff’s office to use a program that replaces sheriff deputies with clinicians as a reason to take money from the mental health budget to hire more sheriff deputies.
Additionally, people can contact the county mental health board and urge them to insist that the CART program be staffed by existing MCSO officers or replaced by a program that sends only mental health clinicians rather than one clinician and one officer. Their email address is: MHB@milwaukeecountywi.gov.
ABOLISHmke has an article with a lot more detail on this program and other crookedness going on in the sheriff’s office.