Wisconsin bill mandates rules for officer-involved deaths

Legislators in Wisconsin have passed what is likely the first statewide bill that requires police departments bring in investigators from outside their agencies when officer-involved deaths occur.

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 409 requires at least two outside investigators–one of whom will lead the effort– to look into such cases. Further, if district attorneys chose not to charge officers, the investigators must release their report into the death to the public. Affected families must also be told how to file complaints and pursue charges through a judge if they don’t agree with the district attorney’s decision.

A Wisconsin father, Michael Bell, lead the effort to have the bill passed. He became bent on changing police procedures after an officer killed his son.

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Officers, public back law on police shootings

By Christena T. O’Brien Leader-Telegram staff

More than 80 percent of state residents surveyed favor having an outside investigation of police officer-involved deaths, according to the results of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association’s second statewide survey.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Wednesday requiring law enforcement agencies to initiate criminal investigations whenever an officer is involved in a person’s death. Such investigations must involve at least two outside investigators, and one of them must lead the inquiry.

While most agencies – including the Eau Claire Police Department – routinely have an outside department investigate, “we think the bill signing yesterday was a good one,” Jim Palmer, executive director of the Madison-based WPPA, the state’s largest law enforcement group, said Thursday … Continue reading

Police Union Happy with New Deadly Force Investigation Law

Wisconsin’s largest police union is happy that all police departments must now bring in outside investigators when officers use deadly force.

During a visit to Eau Claire on Thursday, Wisconsin Professional Police Association Executive Director Jim Palmer said his group actively worked for the change, taking a leadership role in establishing a uniform requirement across the state. He says an agency that faces the difficult situation must call in two outside agencies.

“We think that will go a long way toward… promoting the trust that the public has in the job that law enforcement officers do,” Palmer said.

Kyle Roder, President of the Eau Claire Professional Police Association Local 9 and a WPPA state board member, says, that has been … Continue reading

Professional Police Assoc. approves of new police investigation law

MADISON, WI (WEAU) The Professional Police Association says a bill signed by Governor Walker will help build trust between police departments and the public.

Wednesday, Walker signed a bill that would prohibit state police departments from investigating their own officer-involved shootings.

The bill comes after several high-profile officer involved deaths across the state where no charges were filed.

Some say the bill will get rid of any concern that a department is covering up its own misconduct.

Thursday, we talked with Jim Palmer, who is with the Professional Police Association. He thinks the bill will bring positive changes.

“Some of the controversies that have risen over the years have tended to be those places that don’t utilize these processes of … Continue reading