City leaders and community partners collaborate to prioritize DOJ recommendations
Statement by President Hamilton
Since the release of the draft Department of Justice Collaborative Reform Report in August 2017, there has been significant effort from various community groups, the Milwaukee Police Department, the Fire and Police Commission, the office of the Mayor, and my office to determine a shared pathway forward as the recommendations from the draft report are adopted and implemented.
I stand firm in my convictions that the community needs to lead in the collaborative process and the community should be informed of the positive impacts the recommendations have on police-community relations and efficiency. Throughout the next six months a series of community hubs will be hosted to allow community members to get information about the DOJ collaborative reform process, share input that prioritizes the implementation of recommendations, and be partners in the collective work toward solutions. As suggestions are made, the Milwaukee Police Department and the Fire and Police Commission will be proactive in listening and addressing issues. Ultimately all of the input will be collated into a report that will be presented to the Common Council and ultimately the Fire and Police Commission.
Community partners are also joining in this effort, including Markasa Tucker, Director of the African-American Roundtable who says, “The African American Roundtable and community leaders are looking forward to connecting the community to this process. It is vitally important that the community is a part of every detail throughout this process and appreciates the partnership of the Common Council, Mayor Barrett, the Milwaukee Police Department and the Fire and Police Commission.”
Mayor Tom Barrett says he hopes the process will be a collaborative effort stating, “Community engagement is essential to the vetting of the Department of Justice’s Collaborative Reform draft report, which included 55 findings and over 100 recommendations. This is a serious undertaking by community stakeholders, the Fire and Police Commission and the Milwaukee Police Department. Full collaboration and respectful deliberation will lead to meaningful results.”
Chairman Steven DeVougas of the Fire and Police Commission came out offering the full support of the board, “The Fire and Police Commission (FPC) is committed to continuing the community conversation started during the US Department of Justice (US DOJ) Collaborative Review process that will help our law enforcement professionals develop effective strategies to build trust with the community they serve.”
Chief Edward A. Flynn of the Milwaukee Police Department says the department is looking forward to an open discussion, “The Milwaukee Police Department continues to demonstrate its commitment to excellent policing practices and welcomes the opportunity to partner with the community at large, the newly formed Milwaukee Collaborative Reform Process, the Fire and Police Commission, the Common Council and Mayor Tom Barrett to implement recommendations and prioritize responses to the findings. Chief Flynn supports this collaborative initiative as an avenue to strengthen and build the mutual trust between the Milwaukee Police Department and the communities we serve.”
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