We believe a bill soon to be introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature to require police departments in the state to create more impartial review processes for officer involved shootings are worth careful consideration.
There appears to be some bi-partisan support for making sure that confidence in law enforcement is not compromised by appearances that police departments are too close to the officers involved in citizen deaths to fairly review the officer’s actions. In previous editorials we urged consideration of a citizen review panel like one we found in Lexington, Kentucky and changes to the Madison Police and Fire Commission process if it is to be retained. But even if the PFC is retained, more independent review of officer involved killings is needed.
We believe ultimately these independent reviews will provide even more trust in law enforcement. But recent events have worn away some of that trust and we don’t want to lose any more.