Pewaukee City Police Department Disbanding Referendum (April 2010)

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The Pewaukee City Police Department Disbanding Referendum was a successful petition drive for the April 6 ballot in Waukesha County in Pewaukee City.

The Pewaukee city council decided to disband the police department, stating that they would not be able to cover the costs of the services. They decided to hand the service over to contractors and gave the police till December 31 to find other jobs. A local petition was passed around and turned in to the county elections office. Although the petition was valid with its needed signatures, the city council said it was not up for a referendum vote and disagreed that the issue should be put to a vote. A county judge agreed with the city on November 25 and dismissed the Police Department Association's legal challenge. The county board unanimously approved a 5 year contract for services. The legal issue came down to the fact that direct legislation by the county was not able to be petitioned for a referendum vote. Although the county could still choose to put the issue on the ballot, they are not legally obliged to do so. What they will do in regards to the petition is still unclear.[1]

The police Union has now gone to the Appeals Court in order to overturn the ruling that confirmed the disbanding of the police department. Although most police officers have applied for county sheriff jobs, the union lawyer is still working to stop the police department from being disbanded. They are also trying to get a halt on the disbanding of the department, which takes place the end of the month, until the court has made a second ruling.[2]