The Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee released its final report Friday after being charged with creating a comprehensive review of the Madison Police Department nearly four years ago.
The report included 117 recommendations that thematically focus on increasing civilian oversight of law enforcement, improving community-police relations, increasing sensitivity and non-traditional responses in sensitive situations as well as minimizing the risks of avoidable uses of police force.
Additionally, the report acknowledged the work MPD has already done to improve.
“To its great credit, MPD has readily embraced a significant number of these recommendations and has already begun implementing many of them,” the report said. “Some of these recommendations acknowledge the excellent work the MPD is doing in some areas by simply encouraging the MPD to keep doing what it is already doing in those areas. But it is also important to note that many of these recommendations call for significant changes.”
The report’s first recommendation focuses on the creation of an independent monitor that would be overseen by a Civilian Review Board. The Ad Hoc Committee gave three reasons for this — some of the Madison community does not invest trust in its officers, the police force should be directly controlled by the people as much as possible and the committee believes the rest of their recommendations rely on the creation of an independent monitor.
The report said that in order to be successful, it is crucial that the independent monitor must truly represent the community in all its diversity. The report revealed that few existing review boards are actually considered successful, and included a statement from the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force report.
“Real and lasting change is possible only when the people most affected by policing have a voice,” the statement said.
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The report opened with a letter from the co-chairs of the committee, Keith Findley and Tom Brown, which expressed gratitude to the city of Madison.
“We also are grateful to the entire Madison community for having entrusted us and the Committee members with our important task,” Findley and Brown wrote.