The Milwaukee Police Department has new procedures intended to discourage racial profiling and improve the accuracy of crime data after a vote by the Fire and Police Commission last night, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The procedures come after investigations by the Journal Sentinel that revealed misreporting of Milwaukee crime figures, the death of a man in custody in the back of a squad car, and racial disparity in police traffic stops.
The “Fair and Impartial Policing” procedure is intended to enforce departmentwide training that started three weeks ago, says Chief Edward Flynn. Every officer will be required to take eight hours of training to learn how to avoid letting bias affect policing. The procedure says police shall not consider race, color, ethnicity, national origin, economic status, age, sex or religion when enforcing the law. Christopher Ahmuty of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, said adopting the procedure was a good step that shows the department is trying to get better. “It is obvious how this is an improvement,” Ahmuty said. “I suspect the symbolism of this being number one (among department procedures) won’t be lost on the community.”