Do we require reporting on use of extensive use of force?
We have a strong policy on use of force. Use of force is documented and then reviewed through the chain of command, to include up to the chief. We review to ensure there are no patterns, abuse, or changes in policy or training that need to take place. This includes anytime an officer points a gun at anyone. A report with total numbers and break down of categories is given yearly to the Police and Fire Commission (PFC), as well as a report listing any complaints or internal investigations and the outcomes.
What is your stance on chokeholds?
The MFPD does not teach or condone chokeholds. Our curriculum on Defense and Arrest Tactics (DAAT) comes from the State of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board (LESB) and it is not taught to any officer trained in Wisconsin.
What are the consequences for excessive use of force?
If we believe the actions are criminal, we will bring in an outside entity like the sheriff’s department to investigate for possible criminal charges. An internal investigation will also be done to determine what policy violations have occurred. Discipline and/or remedial training will be given out accordingly, taking into account the officer’s past history, mitigating circumstances, egregiousness the use of force, etc. Any discipline is corresponded to the PFC and becomes a permanent part of an officer’s file. Discipline is progressive, but can be very aggressive for repeated offenses.
Does MFPD have body cameras?
Currently we only have dash cameras in the patrol squads. Body cameras are extremely expensive to maintain, store footage, and labor intensive to respond to open records requests. It also raises concerns for citizens when officers respond to private residences. Body cameras are not good when officers are dealing with a combative person. The view tends to get blocked. Squad cameras serve the purpose in our size community.
What is the culture of the MFPD regarding accountability?
The MFPD stresses professionalism, courtesy, and respect in all citizens we come in contact with. Officers who witness violations of the use of force or any policy and fail to intervene, will also come under investigation and be subject to discipline. Everyone has to do their part.
What resources does the MFPD have for dealing with people in mental crisis?
MFPD is the only PD in Waukesha County to have all of our officers Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT). This 40 hours of training teaches officers about different mental health issues, resources available, and de-escalation skills. Many of the officers, including our School Resource Officers have additional CIT for juveniles. Furthermore, all of our officers are trained to administer Naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose. After that occurs we call the Waukesha County mobile crisis team to do an assessment of the individual to ensure their safety. CIT includes training on dementia and autism. We recognize that it is important to understand the differences and get people the proper help whenever possible.
What other types of training do officers receive?
All officers are required to complete 24 hours of training each year to maintain certification. In addition, officers need to qualify yearly with their firearms to show proficiency. MFPD is a highly trained agency with most officers receiving many more hours than the minimum. In-service training of 24 hours is given by WCTC and dependent on current trends. We also give additional training within the department when needed which has been topics like generational differences to how to run new computer programs. Upon hiring new officers, they are trained in anti-harassment/discrimination. All Wisconsin trained officers receive cultural competence training in the recruit academy. This includes implicit bias, civil rights violations, hate crimes, and diversity self-assessment. In addition, when policy issues or refreshers need to be given, supervisors can give those updates at the daily briefings before officer hit the streets.