APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – One day after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial was handed down, the subcommittee on Law Enforcement policies and standards released their report and recommendations. Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas was invited to speak to the committee at one of their meetings in Green Bay. “I was invited to talk specifically about the city’s body camera program and our use of force program,” said Thomas.
The report covers a number of topics which include use of force by law enforcement officers. The committee recommends that officers intervene when excessive force is used by a fellow officer. This recommendation comes after the investigation into the death of George Floyd showed three other officers did not step in as now convicted Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck which lead to his death. The report also suggests all incidents of excessive force be reported in a timely manner.
Also included in the report, recommendations on protecting whistleblowers. State level employees are protected if they alert their chain-of-command of any incidents pertaining to a co-worker. On the local level, such protections might not be in place across the board. The report indicates there should not be any disciplinary action or discrimination against a reporting officer, which could include demotion or other forms of retaliation.
On the City of Appleton Police Department’s Facebook page, Chief Thomas says many of the recommendations in the report have already been implemented within his department. As a matter of fact, over 10 of the recommendations are already a policy. Those include Officer drug testing, crisis intervention training, body cameras, and public access to the use of force policies. The department says it is supportive of the state collecting data and facts before any other decisions are made regarding “No-Knock Search Warrants.” There is also an indication, the department follows the standard use of force by Officers’ protocol.
For a closer look at the 14-page report click here. Local 5 reached out to Representative Jim Steineke for an interview and was told he was unavailable. A statement was released that you can view here. “The goal is for the task force to now move to action steps. The next step is for the legislative body to move these recommendations forward,” said Thomas.