Committee calls on Mayor Barrett requesting inclusion in MPD reform
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he will create a commission on police accountability and reform.
However, a similar commission was already formed two years ago.
The mayor’s new commission is meant to review the Milwaukee Police Department’s use of force policies.
The Collaborative Community Committee says they’ve been doing that work for years.
“Police reform and accountability is much bigger than that,” said Fred Royal.
Royal is the president of the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP and the vice chair of the Collaborative Community Committee.
He says Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s newly formed commission will focus on the Milwaukee Police Department's use of force, but it’s not the only issue that needs attention.
“The mayor’s concern about deadly use of force, we didn’t want that to overshadow the initial concerns that were raised that the Milwaukee Police Department has some very systemic issues that need to be addressed in dealing with community oriented policing.”
The CCC was formed two years ago when the Fire and Police Commission and the Milwaukee Police Department were under revision by the Department of Justice for the death of Dontre Hamilton.
Hundreds of people from dozens of groups contributed to research for the Department of Justice through their testimonies.
“We want to ensure that those 700+ voices and those 45 groups, that their contributions to problem solving were honored and that we could finally move forward as a city,” said Tammy Rivera, the Executive Director of the Southside Organizing Committee & Treasurer/Research Chair of the CCC.
The group says problems with police brutality and racism have persisted for years.
It’s why they want to continue their work on community policing, specifically ensuring standard operating procedures are properly executed.
“We need to shift from the warrior model to the guardian model,” said Royal.
Royal says they don’t want their work to be overlooked.
“We are just the reflectors of their voice,” said Royal. “We are just giving back the feedback that we’ve received from them as saying this is what we want in our community as far as improving police community relations.”
Mayor Tom Barrett’s office sent this statement in response:
"I have fully supported the Community Collaborative Committee's (CCC) efforts. Its mission and purpose are more important now than ever. I recognize that policing policies and practices are the front door to an entire pipeline of disparities that need to be addressed if we truly value Black Lives. The working group that I have formed will bring together local community leaders to ensure that demands for police accountability are given the attention and urgency they deserve. I am committed to moving forward in a way that is inclusive and collaborative with members of our community and the activists on the front lines of change in our city."
The CCC says they presented four recommendations.
So far, the Fire and Police Commission has only taken up one.