The Milwaukee Police Department was organized in 1855 with a determined chief, seven pugnacious officers, and little money. The department grew to 21 men by the start of the Civil War in 1861. Law enforcement in the city soon earned the national reputation for honesty, integrity, and fairness it has enjoyed into the 21st century. The Milwaukee Police Department was first in the country to establish a formal officer training school, police bomb disposal vehicle, and "talking squad car." Nefarious criminals handled by the department include the foiled presidential assassin John Schrank, the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and characters with quaint nicknames like "Cat-eye Lil" and "Kelly the Choker."
milwaukee police department
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On a chilly day in September, the patriotic, pro-Protestant preaching of an Italian immigrant pastor, August Giuliani, ignited a riot in Milwaukee's small Italian enclave of Bay View that injured two policemen and killed two rioters. Two months later, someone placed a bomb in Giuliani's Third Ward church in an apparent act of retaliation, and a parishioner carried the explosive to Central Police Station, where it detonated, killing nine policemen and a civilian. Within a week, the trial of the Bay View Italians began in a city inflamed with fear, distrust and vengeance. The national buzz attracted big names to the case, including attorney Clarence Darrow and radical heroine Emma Goldman. Join Robert Tanzilo as he carefully navigates the minefield of racial, political and religious tension that tore apart Milwaukee's Italian community in 1917.
This study examines the relationship between the Milwaukee Police Department and the Latino community in the second half of the twentieth century.
With the migration of African American sharecroppers to northern cities in the first half of the 20th century, the African American population of Milwaukee grew from fewer than 1,000 in 1900 to nearly 22,000 by 1950. Most settled around a 12-block area along Walnut Street that came to be known as Milwaukee's Bronzeville, a thriving residential, business, and entertainment community. Barbershops, restaurants, drugstores, and funeral homes were started with a little money saved from overtime pay at factory jobs or extra domestic work taken on by the women. Exotic nightclubs, taverns, and restaurants attracted a racially mixed clientele, and daytime social clubs sponsored "matinees" that were dress-up events featuring local bands catering to neighborhood residents. Bronzeville is remembered by African American elders as a good place to grow up--times were hard, but the community was tight.