Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. Congratulations to Grafton's new police chief, Jeff Caponera! Chief Caponera served as the Chief of Police in Anna, Texas. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Jeff begins his new job on September 21st. Welcome Chief Caponera!
Our good law enforcement officers need to know we support them. Like many others, I have been working diligently over the past several weeks to consider how we might go about addressing reforming law enforcement. I am and have been listening to all sides to find solutions. However, reforming police does not mean defunding them.

At the same time, we need to stand up for law and order in our communities and make sure the men and women who protect us know they are valued. We cannot let bad actors taint the hard-working reputation of the many who do the right thing day in and day out - and that goes for every profession. 
This week, I stood up for Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales. I've worked with Chief Morales in the past and know how much he cares about everyone in our community. He is liked and respected by his police force and is a strong leader. Chief Morales is being unfairly targeted by city officials who continue to make his job impossible and are trying to force him out.
Recently, he wrote about the devastating effects "defunding the police" would have on the city of Milwaukee. We don't have to imagine what that would look like. Since New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council told police to reduce arrests, shootings increased 253% over the same period in 2019
Police officers have difficult jobs. The stress they are under is enormous. In 2019, more officers took their own lives than died in the line of duty. We should be defending police officers and working with departments, not defunding them.
Make no mistake, I strongly believe that officers like the one in Minneapolis who murdered George Floyd should be prosecuted. I've supported important police reforms in the past and am continuing to look for ways to improve accountability.
In 2014, I supported legislation that made Wisconsin the first state to require outside investigations for deadly officer-involved incidents. If charges are not brought against an officer, the findings of that investigation must be made public. That law became a blueprint for other states to adopt. I'm proud of the leadership Wisconsin showed in passing this important reform. 
Holding bad officers accountable makes sure our police forces are staffed by officers we can count on. Those good officers deserve our respect and support. 

As always, if you have any concerns or ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 608-266-5830 or by email at

On, Wisconsin!
Senator Darling, Local School Officials Back Reopening Plan
This week, I joined area school administrators and elected officials in supporting guidelines for re-opening area schools and getting children back into the classroom. In an effort to share best practices and ideas, I coordinated meetings with area lawmakers and superintendents to create a better understanding of the challenges facing local schools.
The recommendations are a series of guiding principles defined to use as cornerstones of our school districts’ learning plan for the 2020-21 school year as we plan for recovery, reentry, and beyond.
There is no one-size fits all plan for our schools, but these guidelines outline the priorities of getting kids back to school, back into the classrooms, and back to normalcy. I’ve talked to pediatricians who have universally expressed deep concerns with disruptions in learning, situations at home that relate to mental health and domestic violence, and further widening the achievement gap.
The first guiding principle is to maintain the health and safety of students and staff. All of the recommendations are based around that priority. 
I strongly believe this decision should be made by local officials. I’ve been in contact with every superintendent in my district. I have full confidence in the ability of our district administrators to make wise and informed decisions. They are consulting with health professionals, parents, and teachers. They will make the best possible decision for their communities. I strongly support their priority of getting children back into the classroom.
Fourteen area superintendents were apart of our covnersation and support the plan including: Todd Bugnacki, Cedarburg School District; Bryan Davis, Shorewood; Jeff Dellutri, Fox Point-Bayside ; Matt Joynt, Mequon-Thiensville School District; Greg Kabara, Nicolet Union High School; Monica Kelsey-Brown, Brown Deer; Dr. Deb Kerr, Immediate Past Brown Deer; Kieth Kriewaldt, Erin School District; Jeff Nelson, Grafton School District; Daren Sievers, Slinger School District; Larry Smalley, Glendale-River Hills; John Thomsen, Whitefish Bay; Tara Villalobos, Holy Hill Area School District; Michael Weber, Port Washington-Saukville School District. Also supporting the plan are State Representatives Jim Ott, Dan Knodl, Janel Brandtjen, and Rick Gundrum.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compiled a list of area schools and their status. You can find that article here.
COVID-19 Cases in Our Area
The table above contains data from July 22, 2020 from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on coronavirus cases in our area.
COVID-19 Testing Available
Update on Local Safer at Home Orders
Several of our area communities have some restrictions in place. Here is a summary of where those orders stand.

Washington and Ozaukee Counties have lifted their lock down of long-term care facilities.

Suburban Milwaukee County: (Includes Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Whitefish Bay)
  • The area remains in Phase C with the following restrictions:
  • Gatherings limited to 50 people
  • Masks are required at all Milwaukee County facilities
  • Child Care to follow DCF guidelines
  • Retail occupancy limited to 50% of capacity
  • Restaurants and Bars occupancy limited to 75% of capacity
  • Gyms occupancy limited to 50% of capacity
  • Places of Worship Follow guidelines of faith-based leadership organization 
  • Phase C will last at least 14 days and the next stage will begin if gating measures (PPE, hospital capacity, testing, tracing, etc.) are met.

Brown Deer is recommending residents wear masks in public, but are not mandating it.

  • Requires anyone five years and older to wear a mask in indoor, public spaces
  • People with health exclusions are exempt from the mask mandate
  • Businesses have the right to refuse customers who refuse to comply
  • Violators are subject to fines ranging from $50 to $500
  • Business owners may lose operating licenses

  • The city of Milwaukee instituted a mandatory mask policy.
  • Everyone three years of old and up must:
  • Wear a mask inside public places
  • Wear a mask if within six feet of a non-family/household member when outside
  • "Moving Milwaukee Forward" mirrors Governor Evers’ "Safer at Home" order with no end date.
  • The city is currently in Phase 4.
  • Bars and restaurants may open at 50% of capacity.
  • Stores are allowed to be at 75% of capacity.
  • Click here for more information.

Glendale is requiring masks in public places, but is not penalizing people for not complying.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued new guidelines for outdoor nursing home visitations. You can read those recommendations here. (third tab down)

Check with your community or anywhere you plan to travel for more details and guidelines. We are all encouraged to continue practice social distancing, wash hands, and stay home if you have any symptoms.
Around the 8th...