Milwaukee’s Police Department wants to install cameras in its squad cars to record traffic stops but hasn’t found the money to pay for them, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The department also is also committing to “strongly enforce” its use-of-force procedures and will encourage officers to be more “customer friendly,” says an agreement signed yesterday by a new group created to improve the department’s community relations.
The 18-month-old Milwaukee Commission on Police Community Relations was proposed by Chief Nannette Hegerty proposed the group shortly after she took office in late 2003. The agreement, mediated by the U.S. Justice Department, is similar to documents signed in other cities, but this one was not ordered by a court, said Harriet McKinney, co-chair of the group and executive director of the American Jewish Committee. “What is really great is it is voluntary,” she said. The 13-page agreement spells out several areas that the group has discussed: video cameras, police recruitment and training, use of force, diversity, youth relations, and customer service. The 26-member group includes representatives from a cross-section of ethnic, religious, and neighborhood groups.