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Volume 8

Policing in Milwaukee: A Strategic History

by George L. Kelling

Urban Life Series. No. 8. 192 pages. 5.5 x 8.5. Paperback. $25.00. Index

ISBN 978-1-62600-300-2

During the first half of the 20th Century, the Milwaukee Police Department was one of the country’s premier police departments, widely acclaimed for its efficiency, honesty, and leadership.  Throughout that era not only was Milwaukee one of America’s most crime free cities, but its police department led in control of corruption, utilization of police technology, and the development of community relations programs—one of the precursors of community policing. By the end of the century, however, it was torn by internal divisions, alienated from the minority community, and out of touch with the professional development of policing nationally. Milwaukee struggled with its demoralized police department, with an antagonistic relationship between its police department and its minority communities, and with soaring crime.

Based on his over 40 years of police observation, research, and consulting in dozens of police departments as well as his own personal and professional experiences in Milwaukee, George Kelling tracks the evolution of the MPD through the 20th Century into the 21st and then on into the community policing era. Dr. George L. Kelling, police scholar for over forty years and native of Milwaukee, is Professor Emeritus at Northeastern and Rutgers Universities and a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Kelling has published two seminal works on policing—The Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment and The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment but is perhaps best known for his 1982 Atlantic article: “Broken Windows,” which he co-authored with James Q. Wilson, and for his 1996 book Fixing Broken Windows, with Catherine M. Coles.



Marquette University Press

Founded in 1916, the Marquette University Press, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, publishes scholarly works in philosophy, theology, history, and other selected humanities. Read more.