I want to express my strong support for the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners in its stated intention of seeing through the review and reform process begun by the United States Department of Justice’s ‘Collaborative Reform Initiative Milwaukee Police Department Assessment Report”.
Commission Chair Steven DeVougas has made clear that addressing the issues that prompted this report will be a priority for the Commission. He has further said that the Commission intends to undertake an open and collaborative process to complete the work that this unfinished effort has left undone.
We all saw the hearing conducted by the Commission relating to the department’s foreign nationals standard operating procedures. Four hundred people turned out – many of whom did not speak English as their first language – and all were treated with dignity and respect. It embarked on a similarly collaborative process when it directed the Chief to revise the vehicle pursuit standard operating procedure. Tasked by the statute with overseeing the police department, there is no agency more suited to undertake this process.
I look forward to working with the community, the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, and the police department, to ensure that the Milwaukee Police Department both protects and serves all our residents.