PEOPLE-Local 645

  • Quality of Life Alliance

One Expensive Bus Ride

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on January 1, 2011

From Milwaukee County First:

WISN-TV is reporting that a man was fined $484 for uttering two cuss words on the bus:

“I cursed, and it cost me $500. Are you serious? Where in America do you get charged $500 for two words?” Terry Duncan said.

“I said, ‘What do I get this ticket for? What did I do wrong?’ ‘You were on the bus and using profane language. You were cursing on the bus.’ I said, ‘Cursing on the bus? Are you serious?’” Duncan said.

Duncan said he wasn’t swearing at anybody. He was just having a conversation on his way to work. He just moved here from Gary, Ind., and said he honestly had no idea it was illegal, and it’s not posted on the bus.

Duncan admitted the two words started with an “f” and an “s” but was stunned when he was ordered off the No. 80 bus Tuesday by an undercover deputy and was handed a disorderly conduct ticket.

But regular riders said they know all about it.

The citation does seem to be a bit extreme for something that could have been handled with a warning.  Then again, passengers do have the right to expect a peaceful ride since they are spending their hard-earned money.

But as to whether the ordinance or the deputy’s actions were necessary isn’t what is of concern of this post.  The alarming issue comes at the end of the news report:

Clarke began putting undercover deputies on county buses two years ago after several crimes against passengers and drivers.

What is alarming about this is that Milwaukee County is also paying a generous amount of money each year to GS4 Wackenhut to provide bus security.  Of course, despite being handsomely paid, Wackenhut has not proven to be a very good investment (emphasis ours):

Mark Schaefer, general manager for the G4S Wackenhut security firm’s Wisconsin office, said the company’s 19 bus security officers were nowspending 72% of their time on buses. That’s up from 45% last May, he said. A county audit put the figure at 3% about a year ago.

Why is Milwaukee County paying all of this money to Wackenhut when they are not even performing their duties 75% of the time?  We certainly hope and encourage Lee Holloway to take a look at these double expenditures when he takes over as interim County Executive this week.  It’s time that this pandering to the special interest and Scott Walker’s campaign contributors comes to a screeching halt.

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