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Preview and Participate in Upcoming Meeting Topics Related to Police, Diversity & Inclusion

Committees and the Common Council will discuss a number of topics related to police department operations and oversight and diversity & inclusion
Post Date:06/24/2020 9:28 AM

Both at the local level and national level, how a police department operates, as well as equity and inclusion are topics we are hearing a lot about in the news. Residents have questions and want to know more information about how we operate and also about what reforms may be forthcoming locally. The Wauwatosa Common Council held a special meeting to begin these discussions in which they received an overview of how oversight of the Police Department works under state and city law. Watch the video of the special meeting.

At the end of that meeting, members of the Common Council expressed an interest in having continued discussion and dialogue on these topics. They then placed a number of related topics on upcoming Committee agendas for discussion.

In addition, the Council formed an Equity & Inclusion Commission in 2019. Their role is an advisory group to the Council and Mayor, providing comment and support regarding appropriate strategies to develop and implement activities, resources and services that promote a positive environment of equity, inclusion, and the celebration of diverse identities in the City of Wauwatosa.

It is our goal to ensure that these discussions are transparent and that residents know how to follow the discussions to stay informed and also how to engage and share their opinion with their elected officials about these important topics. Below is a summary of upcoming meetings on these topics.

Equity and Inclusion Commission will discuss the following on June 25:

  • Requesting police demographic information from encounters the public has with the police
  • Use of body cameras in the police department and funding for them
  • Ban of no-knock warrants
  • Ban of chokeholds under any circumstances. (Currently, the police department does not train on chokeholds or strangleholds. Read more about their policies.)

Committee of the Whole will discuss the following on June 29:

  • Body cameras in the police department, including a policy discussion, budget discussion, and deployment options

Community Affairs will discuss the following on June 30:

  • Draft a communique about the police department and their oversight
  • Creating a citizen oversight committee for the police department

Government Affairs will discuss the following on June 30:

  • Request by the Equity and Inclusion Commission for the City of Wauwatosa to consider joining the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) pledge
  • Allocation of non-safety related services of the Wauwatosa Police Department. (Ex: This could mean allocating to another type of staff person, such as a social worker, or to another department.)

Government Affairs will discuss the following on July 14:

  • Creation of a different complaint or commendation process for the Wauwatosa Police Department
  • Overview of communications staffing and processes of the Wauwatosa Police Department

Government Affairs will discuss the following on July 28:

  • Union negotiation overview. By state law the police and fire department are allowed to have unions. In 2011 there were several changes at the state level that impacted how cities negotiate with unions. The committee will have an overview of union negotiations and what the city is obligated and not obligated to bargain.
  • Police Department training. The committee will receive a report on the types of training and frequency of training that police officers receive. This is to include what types of implicit bias training they have had in the past and the plan for future training.

Police Department FAQs

In an effort to foster transparency around operations in the police department, the Wauwatosa Police Department assembled information about the department’s practices and policies. Learn about their training, hiring standards, dashboard/body cameras, Police & Fire Commission, use of force, and other topics.

How to participate in discussion related to these topics

Email your comments to dl-cityhallcityclerk@wauwatosa.net. Please include your name, address, and a request that your comments be added to the public agenda packet.

You can watch meetings via the Meeting Portal, the cable access channel 120.25, or on Zoom. Find Zoom instructions on individual meeting agendas.

You can attend in person. Meetings will be conducted in-person with optional virtual attendance. In-person attendance by members of the public will be limited to 50 people in a room. If more than 50 people want to attend a meeting in-person, a second viewing location will be set up in the Lower Civic Center, located between the Library and City Hall. At this location, 50 additional residents can watch the meeting happening in the Council Chambers. There are limits to in person attendance because we are following the "Suburban Milwaukee County Safe Opening Capacity Guidance," which at this time limits in-person gatherings to fifty or fewer persons.

 

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