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MADISON, WI – State Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee), Chair of the Milwaukee Delegation, made the following statement today following the unveiling “The Community-Police Relations Improvement Act”.

“Recent deadly altercations involving police officers across the country and in our own backyard have sparked outrage and increased distrust of law enforcement in communities that already have strained relationships with law enforcement. Unfortunately, that divide grows even wider when case after case of officer-involved shootings of minority men and women produces the same results. The families and the communities of Slyville Smith, Philando Castile, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton and countless others have continued to have seen no justice for the death of their loved ones.

The situation continues to worsen, which has shone a spotlight on the degradation of the relationship and trust between police officers and their communities. Many members of our communities are afraid of police officers, and in turn, many police officers fear the communities that they are tasked to protect and serve. This is evident in the frequent officer-involved altercations and deaths we have witnessed in recent years. This strained relationship between police officers and the communities they serve only make it more difficult for police to do their jobs effectively and for community members to feel safe in their own neighborhoods.

That is why I am putting forward the Police-Community Relations Improvement Act which would provide $300,000 per year in grants for police departments to engage in community-building programming between police and community members. Improving the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve will make both the community members and the police officers in the community safer. Only through rebuilding the trust between law enforcement and the community can we begin to solve the problem of officer-involved injuries and deaths and the corresponding violence against law enforcement.”

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