Monday, August 17, 2015

"City alderman, citing national news, asks about police use of force policy"

From The Journal

"RACINE — Alderman Terry McCarthy is asking Police Chief Art Howell to give him and his fellow City Council members a review on the department’s policy regarding use of force.

"McCarthy said the request to have Howell speak on the issue before the Committee of the Whole doesn’t stem from complaints he’s received about local policing. He simply wants the city to avoid the allegations of excessive force that have rocked communities elsewhere in the state and country.

"'If anything were to happen in Racine, we should know how the Police Department would react,' McCarthy said. 'If we have any concerns about that, this would be our chance to influence the policy, etc., maybe ahead of time.

"'Every month there is something on the radio: the unnecessary use or force here, the unnecessary use of force there. I want to make sure we are prepared from a policy perspective, and procedural perspective. I want to know the chief’s thoughts on it and what he thinks makes sense.'

"McCarthy said he wanted to make sure that in the event an incident occurred in which force was used, the City Council didn’t learn there was 'official accepted policy' in place that they didn’t know about that didn’t make sense to them.

"'I don’t want to be complaining afterwards. I want to be understanding ahead of time,' he said."

Read more:

I just sent an email that states police are "damned if they do, and damned if they don't."  The worst case scenario is our officers second-guessing themselves at the moment of interaction with a possible criminal.

1 comment:

kkdither said...

I've witnessed many police interactions in the schools. As you know, more and more, violent and criminal behavior is happening with teens nowadays. They are the fastest growing population for extremely violent crimes. I've witnessed many more instances of police taking abuse than acting on it. Their patience has been amazing at times. A situation can appear to be under control and change in an instance. I would NEVER want to be in their shoes. I think body cameras should be mandatory. There are always opportunities for misuse of power, or a difference of opinion. There should be as much transparency in policing as possible.

However, I think it is reasonable and smart to have this discussion before there is an incident like we have been seeing in the news. Good for Alderman McCarthy for bringing this forward.