The Madison City Council’s ad hoc committee met Thursday to discuss future plans for reviewing the Madison Police Department’s policies and procedures.
State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, kicked off the meeting, detailing her concern with local law enforcement’s use of deadly force in public.
“I’ve got to this issue of law enforcement reform because I’ve worked a lot on this issue on how do we work with law enforcement to have greater accountability and greater transparency,” Taylor said.
Taylor grew interested in the topic when a few shootings happened in her neighborhood between police and community. The first flaw she noticed was the process after the shootings.
Taylor said it’s hard for anyone to investigate a report while having personal ties. For this reason, she believes in a mandate to ensure an uninvolved officer will be brought in to work on the investigation. From here, Taylor hopes to put more transparency in lethal force.
“We really started doing the research to figure out what reforms could we maybe propose in making the standards a little more definitive,” Taylor said.
Taylor and another researcher began looking for the standard training procedures. She developed a few guidelines that reflect her beliefs and said her first goal is to protect the public and to protect the law enforcement.
Deadly force should only be used as a last resort, Taylor said. She believes in deescalating a threat as much as possible and with current guidelines, use of lethal force is not currently required if an officer faces an active shooter. Taylor ultimately wants to instill a responsibility in officers to use reasonable force.
“Officers will take reasonable action to prevent or stop a colleague to use reasonable force,” Taylor said.
MPD Captain Mary Schauf told Taylor there were recent policy changes made that are available to the public online.
“We do adhere to the law enforcement standards. We’re audited on that … and it’s consistent,” Schauf said.
Taylor hopes to spark a conversation on the values of community, ensure everyone is aware of law enforcement standards and can share their opinion.
The committee will reconvene Nov. 8.