Disarm, Defund, and Disband UWMPD

Disarm, Defund, and Disband UWMPD

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Students for a Democratic Society at UWM started this petition to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Mone

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) stands in support of Black students who routinely experience the violence of policing in the classroom, on campus, and within the broader social world. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) clings to their overfunded police force amidst the increasingly visible, prolonged epidemic of police violence. Officer Rusten Sheskey, the man who attempted to kill Jacob Blake, was trained within the UW-System as a campus cop at UW-Parkside. Any campus police officer has the potential to become a killer cop and their presence on our campuses creates an environment of fear and hostility. Furthermore, the UWM PD is being funded with money that rightfully belongs to educational programs: the very purpose of the university.

UWM is facing an unprecedented budget crisis during a global pandemic. They've responded by furloughing and firing educators and cutting student support services, yet they maintain the UWM PD budget of over three million dollars. It’s the highest police budget in the UW-System. However, 95% of the PD’s work is citing and arresting students for minor drug and alcohol offenses, and has nothing to do with protection or safety as they claim. UWM is intent on using public funds to indirectly subsidize the further militarization of police, and not for our education, health, and safety.

Therefore, we demand that UWM: 

Disarm, defund, and disband the UWM PD and entrust the safety of the University campus community to unarmed mediation and intervention teams with third-party oversight.
Redistribute UWM PD funds and services into other existing departments or create new structures that support social well being, such as mental health, health services, and ethnic studies programs.


Upon receiving these demands, UWM denied that there is a problem with policing in the first place. They claimed that implementing their police advisory workgroup “reviews and enhances” police training, yet it only increases their budget while providing false accountability. The institution of policing is inherently violent and oppressive, and cannot be fixed simply through oversight and training. Police departments everywhere need community control; they need to be defunded, demilitarized, and ultimately abolished. Campus police departments are no exception. The time for change is right now, for any justice delayed is justice denied. 

If you agree that UWM should prioritize the education, health, and safety of the student body, particularly Black and brown students, sign and share this petition! 

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