Fact Check: Has Progressive Genrich Added More Cops To Green Bay Streets?

While the Supreme Court race is taking center stage on the airwaves ahead of the April election, there are many other races on the ballot across the state, among them a very competitive contest for Mayor of Green Bay.

Current Mayor Eric Genrich (of Zuckerbucks and secret City Hall recording devices fame) faces a challenge from Brown County Director of Administration Chad Weininger. Genrich is running a TV ad in which he makes this claim:

“We hired seven new police officers to keep us safer.”

Let’s check the record.

Violence Growing Problem in Green Bay

Genrich is obviously aware of how important the issue of crime and public safety is across the state, and in particular among cities, like Green Bay, that have suffered from increases in the violent crime rate. According to new numbers out from the FBI, violent crime in Green Bay is up 31% since 2010.

Progressive Genrich Joined Anti-Cop Protestors During COVID Lockdowns

As a vocal advocate for anti-police protests, Genrich’s claim that he’s responsible for more cops in the city caught the attention of many.

Genrich was a vocal supporter of COVID lockdowns, cancelling public gatherings and suing to stop the Spring election due to ‘safety concerns’ related to the pandemic. But after violent  protests in Green Bay in 2020 that saw businesses looted, property destroyed, fires set, squad cars damaged and shots fired, Genrich lifted the city’s curfew so BLM protestors could gather in large groups to rage in the streets following the death of George Floyd.

Genrich not only encouraged public gatherings of protestors to continue during the pandemic, he participated, speaking to a gathering of some 1,000 protestors who chanted anti-police slogans such as “racist a** cops, we don’t need ‘em.”

Did Progressive Mayor Genrich Really Bulk Up the Police Force After Attending Anti-Police Protests?

In a word, no.

A Smaller Green Bay Police Department Under Genrich

According to Green Bay City Budget documents the GB Police Department has fewer sworn employees now than when Genrich took office. There are also fewer unsworn employees and fewer full-time employees.

Genrich has added a $70,000+ public relations staffer to the chief’s office though, who earns more than roughly 20% of patrol officers. Perhaps Genrich believes 1 person telling the community they are safe is better than hiring more sworn officers to actually keep them safe?

A look at various metrics of measuring the police force strength, and the size of the police department shows Genrich’s claim misses the mark. The budget and departmental organization chart with position totals show by how much.

GB Police Department 2019

Pre-Genrich Budget


Current Genrich Budget


2019 to 2023

Full Time Employees 249.58 231.27 -18.31
Sworn Employees 194 187 -7
Non-sworn  Employees 39.5 35 -4.5
Communication Coordinator 0 1 +1

Sources: City of Green Bay 2019 Final Budget, City of Green Bay 2023 Final Budget

Fewer Sworn Officers

Sworn employees are what is commonly considered a police officer; they have attended a law enforcement academy for training; they take an oath to uphold the law, carry a badge and a gun, and may make arrests. In the Green Bay Police Department, according to Green Bay city budget documents, there are 7 fewer sworn officers now than before Genrich took office, not 7 more.

Fewer Non-sworn Law Enforcement Support Staff

Non-sworn law enforcement employees are civilians in what most people think of as non-dangerous support roles – clerks, analysts, technicians, dispatchers, administrators, etc. In addition to fewer sworn officers and fewer full-time non-sworn personnel, the department went from having 83 part-time/seasonal workers and interns on the job before Genrich, to just 9 currently.

Shifting Police Department Funds to Other Departments

Moreover, at the same time Genrich has reduced the number of sworn officers in the city, he has shifted the cost of a number of computer programmers and other IT positions to be funded from the GBPD’s budget although the positions are in the IT department. This not only frees up funds for other areas of the budget at the expense of the police department, but it also creates the impression that spending on public safety is higher. This in part explains why though the GBPD position count has decreased, the proportion of the city budget under the police department has remained the same.

We rate Genrich’s claim that he’s added more police officers false.