The Madison Police Department published updates to the standard operating procedures it uses in critical incidents involving officers.
The document expands on a previous document outlining standards for incidents involving police use of deadly force. The standards now include procedures for incidents like in-custody deaths and crashes involving squad cars.
Other changes to the document include: procedures for a blood draw, definition of the role of outside observers, expansion of roles and responsibilities for MPD staff, separation of criminal investigation and administrative review and protocol for helping officers after the incident.
The standards were developed over several months and involved contributions from inside and outside the police department.
“The nature of policing is very unpredictable, and again what we want to do is make sure that we’re getting it right. We want to make sure that we have the support for our officers, but we also have to be able to listen to the community and hear what their standards are in terms of how we respond to these types of cases,” MPD Interim Chief Randy Gaber said.
According to a news release, review of police responses to high profile incidents is a national trend. The police department also highlighted a proposed state law that would establish uniform standards for investigations into deaths involving law enforcement officers.
The bill comes after three officer-involved shootings in Madison in the last nine months.
The roommates of Paul Heenan, who was shot outside a Baldwin Street home by a Madison police officer, said the new policy differs from the proposal at the state Capitol. They said the new protocol doesn’t offer independent review the way a new law would. They also said the law wouldn’t go away, whereas the operating procedure could change if a police chief wants it to change.