This morning Ald. Bob Donovan issued a statement noting that alleged gang activity at Bradley Tech High School in Walker’s Point led 39 Milwaukee Police Dept. squads to respond to the school on Nov. 30 and 29 more squads to patrol the area around the school the following day.
According to Donovan’s statement 20 people were arrested and a rifle and a fake handgun were seized by police. A Milwaukee Public Schools statement later in the day said that the two weapons were not found at the school and the suspects arrested in conjunction with them are not currently attending Bradley Tech.
“I believe that it borders on criminal behavior for MPS officials not to have notified public officials about the incidents at Bradley Tech,” Donovan’s statement read.
“The residents in the neighborhood have surely been appreciating the stepped up police presence, but they had no idea why it was happening. This is unforgivable, but not surprising to me.”
Donovan says in the statement that the police response was the result of an apparent gang fight.
“According to Milwaukee Police Department dispatch records,” wrote MPD’s Anne E. Schwartz in an e-mail statement to media, “28 police officers and sergeants responded to the school between 2:15 p.m. and 2:31 p.m. Within one hour of the initial call for police, 12 of the original responding squads were released,18 arrestees were in custody and order was restored at the school.”
Schwartz confirmed that the two weapons were confiscated outside the school from non-students. She added that after Nov. 30 there were no further incidents at the school.
“As for the school,” Donovan said, “I believe it should be treated as a nuisance property, with MPS picking up the tab for the ridiculous level of police presence and babysitting that is going on.”
In its statement, Milwaukee Public Schools noted that MPS worked in concert with Milwaukee Police and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in responding to the fight at Bradley Tech.
The district also said that it pays Milwaukee Police $60,000 to patrol high schools at dismissal times and athletic events.
“Superintendent Gregory Thornton has met with Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn and they continue to work together to address issues that plague our schools. Dr. Thornton recently met with Violence Free Zone representatives regarding Bradley Tech and the community’s challenge. We are frequently talking with our neighbors through the Walker’s Point Neighborhood Association, because a Bradley Tech representative makes it a point to attend the Association’s meetings.
“On several occasions we have extended invitations to Ald. Donovan to work with us,” reads the MPS statement. “He has yet to respond. We welcome him to tour the school, and to view the efforts being made on behalf of Milwaukee’s children.”
Ald. Jim Witkowiak, in whose district, Bradley Tech is located, has not issued any statement or public response to Donovan’s remarks.