Who police the police when… An officer had a bad day at home and comes to work frustrated. Then is put on duty without any psych visit to patrol a community they don’t understand, don’t respect, don’t appreciate, and have a negative neighborhood perspective? Who police the police when… An officer is stopping a young man and his mother or grandmother comes out in array of emotions, because he was just sitting on the porch or in front of the house when the police train jumped out. They tell momma or grandmomma to shut the “F” up and threatens to arrest her if she say another word, as they continue to search him and others on suspicious intentions and random stops? Who police the police when… A young man just got caught running (for whatever reason) and is left alone to be smashed to the ground, kicked in the face and ribs, punched in the head and thrown in the back seat of a cop car? Who police the police when… A traffic stop has been made and you are riding alone when the officers tells you to step out the car. They ask you to search your vehicle and you tell ask them what is the probable cause, but they give you no explanation and they do so anyways? Who police the police when… they walk by, drive by 8+ deep? Who police the police when… they ride through blocks with dash-cams off on purpose, so they can harass members of the community and break laws without evidence of it happening? Who police the police when… they are on trial for crimes and the have the district attorney, the judge, and the witnesses working from them? Who police the police when… internal affairs doesn’t? Who police the police when… they police you? Maybe it’s time for a Community Review Board to Police the “Police Systems”.
How to implement MPD Community Review Board
This board will have complete community autonomy and will be directed by rotating citizens of the city of Milwaukee who sit on the board to help oversee MPD’s community police officers relations/interactions and reports/complaints filed to the Fire & Police Commission. Also, this board will be responsible for implementing proposals to better strengthen community interactions and best practices. This board will be a check & balance to the system/process at hand.
Implementation of Board: One of the most effect ways to making this board exist is to create in into law. Since this implementation specifically would be developed to interact within the City of Milwaukee, it would best appropriately fit as a resolution from a member of the City Common Council. The resolution would include the acknowledgement as to why this board is completely necessary (reports, complaints, misconduct, investigations, etc) for the communities ability to hold accountable the government for which it governs. The resolution would also include zone layout and budget for implementation and continuation. The resolution will be backed with community resident signatures, support from varies community orgs. and leaders, and reference from other such like implementations in varies cities.
Budget for Board: Every inner city community are given Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) federal dollars to help in four specific targeted areas: housing development, youth programming, economic development, and job training/employment. Along these dollars there is money for police departments to police the communities. Some of this money goes to Block Clubs to help with neighborhood watch programs, block parties, etc. Most of the time the police department gets tons of money and often over populates the community with officers. In turn, what could happen is a reasonable percentage could go to the implementation of the board and employment; help get started, whatever it takes to get people on the ground to do the work. (Some may say why not volunteer? If we look at the history of non-funded programs, like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), they have no ability to change anything because they lack the resources to get it done.)
Board Zone Layout: There are a few ways the zones can be established, but the most effect may be to implement this board through community Block Clubs already established through CDBG grant funding. It could be broken into four targeted areas: Near Northside, North Eastisde, Near Southside, South Eastside. Throughout each zone, there would be partner Block Clubs that work together to oversee police activity. The member make up would only be eligible for community residents who reside in that neighborhood and are an active member of their established Block Club. Each Block Club will represent a member to be voted on the board to represent their Community Review Board.