MILWAUKEE —The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is going to meet next week to reconsider its decision to place fallen Wauwatosa police Officer Jennifer Sebena’s name on the memorial.
The group has called a board meeting for April 3 in Washington, D.C., according to the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.
“Just this morning we received word they had scheduled another meeting for April 3 in which they will specifically take up the issue of Jen Sebena,” WPAA Executive Director James Palmer said. “We’re cautiously optimistic about that. I think it’s clear that the outcry that we’ve been hearing, that they’ve been hearing from not only Wisconsin’s law enforcement community but officers and members of the general public from all across the country is starting to take its effect.”
Last week the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund board said it would not reconsider Sebena in 2014.
Sebena was shot and killed on Christmas Eve while on duty. Her husband has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide.
As of Monday, more than 15,000 people have signed an online petition to get the officer honored.
Palmer said the reaction to the social media campaign started during the weekend has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I think just in the last 24 hours we’ve seen a 3,000-percent increase in traffic just on our Facebook page,” he said.
Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence Executive Director Patti Seger said it appeared that the organization is paying attention to the public outcry.
“Obviously for them this has created a public relations nightmare, and it was a terrible mis-guess on their part,” Seger said. “To somehow believe that an officer who was serving in uniform, in squad, and who was killed at the time of their service was based solely on who killed them, would be excluded from the memorial.”
Gov. Scott Walker wrote a letter to the board last week asking it to reconsider. The WPPA sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for help.
The Memorial Board is scheduled to meet about the issue on April 3.