Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has touted a data-driven approach to tackling crime. Yesterday, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the department showed off some of the new tools that help officers both gather and use that data, all from the convenience of their squad cars: video cameras, computer mapping systems, and rapid computerized fingerprint scanners. Even police motorcycles are equipped with laptop computers that allow officers to access information and immediately generate reports at accident scenes.
Of particular importance for community accountability, Flynn said, are the 75 dashboard video cameras. There are plans to equip all 200 cars with the cameras in coming months. That pleases Ralph Hollmon, president of the Milwaukee Urban League, who said cameras not only help protect officers from false allegations of wrongdoing but also protect citizens “if an officer has not acted properly. The bottom line is the community wants to know the truth.”This will go a long, long way to building police-community relations.”