Milwaukee’s Flynn Accepts DOJ Calls for Reform

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Two months ago, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn criticized a draft of a federal review of the department as riddled with errors. Despite that, Flynn now says he agrees with most of the draft report’s recommendations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “I am embracing the recommendations … because, like any other police department, we could always improve,” he said. “It’s important to demonstrate to the community our willingness to examine our systems and processes and look for ways to improve them.”

No final version of the review exists, nor will one be produced, now that the U.S. Department of Justice changed its collaborative reform process to focus more on crime reduction tactics instead of accountability and reform of police agencies. The change falls in line with the new presidential administration’s stated goals of reducing crime and promoting local control of police agencies. Flynn said he is “more than happy to accept technical assistance” from the Justice Department and has reached out to them about providing it. “Regardless of where the Department of Justice is now, we should try to at least use these recommendations as a guide,” Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton said. The Community Coalition for Quality Policing — a group of nearly two dozen faith, civil rights and advocacy organizations — is continuing to push for problem-oriented policing. That method of policing prioritizes officers finding new strategies and solutions outside the criminal justice system to address issues in neighborhoods.

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