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Appleton Police Department Advisory Board meets to discuss practices, allow comment

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Appleton Police Department community advisory board met virtually to go over policing practices and allow community members to give input.

Chief Todd Thomas said, “We have now posted every one of our police policies on the web for everyone to see and view. It is on our website… but every policy starts off with a policy statement and a reason why we have the policy.”

Chief Thomas says the public should be informed about police policies.

“The community tells us how they want us to do our jobs,” said Thomas. “So they should know what our policies are, so they should have input into what our policies are.”

The Appleton Community Advisory Board has been meeting since September of 2020.

Chief Thomas said, “We’re open for any questions, any comments, any discussions.”

Chief Thomas tells Local Five that the Advisory Board will be forming subcommittees to tackle specific problems they identify in the community and one is already in the works to address responses to mental health calls.

Also in Appleton, a protest demanding justice for those killed by the police and highlighting the issue here in Northeast Wisconsin, as the trials for Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis and Michael Mattioli in Milwaukee get underway.

Organizers tell Local Five there is always work to be done.

Earl Simons, a Lawrence University student says, “It’s a start but we need hard change. I’ve been advocating for hard change, you can implement cultural bias training, you can talk to the police, you can fire them but that’s not enough.”

Simons said that there should be harsher penalties and more accountability to make our society more just.

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