The Police Accountability Workgroup sent the following letter to Mayor Barrett, and copied the Common Council and Fire and Police Commission Board of Directors:
Dear Mayor Barrett:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin defends the civil liberties and rights of all Wisconsin residents, and as you know, has worked on policing matters for many years. We convene a police accountability workgroup comprised of community-based organizations from across Milwaukee. We expect that you will be considering up to three new candidates for appointment to the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission Board of Directors, and we strongly encourage you to nominate individuals who possess several of the following attributes:
- Are under 35 years old, and have knowledge about and experience with the issues young people are facing.
- Represent targeted populations that have high degrees of police contact.
- The ability to analyze data and think critically.
- The ability to ask difficult questions of authority figures.
- The ability to advocate for the community regarding police issues in the City of Milwaukee, and work with diverse constituencies i.e., the Milwaukee Police Department, Fire & Police Commission, other elected officials, and the community, in an oversight role.
- Experience with human resources and critical skill sets such as implicit bias training; trauma informed care; CIT or CIP training; de-escalation techniques; and, mental health issues.
- The ability to make policy and procedural recommendations, including creating or evaluating policies and procedures for an organization of over 100 employees.
- The ability to develop and utilize outreach strategies to obtain input regarding Milwaukee Police Department policy and procedures and their impact on the community.
We also encourage you to hold public listening sessions with prospective commissioners prior to their appointment. We believe it is necessary to assure the public that the Board of the Fire and Police Commission will be representative of them and responsive to their concerns.
Thank you for your cooperation on behalf of the undersigned community leaders and organizational representatives:
We urge the Mayor to appoint three qualified individuals to the Board of Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission.
Chris Ahmuty, American Civil Liberties Union
Fred Royal, NAACP Milwaukee Branch
Coalition for Justice
Rev. Steve Jerbi, All Peoples Church
Black Student Union at MATC
The Dominican Center
Bishop Jeff Barrow, Greater Milwaukee Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Hmong Human Rights
Martin Luther King Justice Coalition
Sr. Rose Stietz, MICAH
Milwaukee Christian Center
Milwaukee Public Theatre
Showing Up for Racial Justice – Milwaukee Branch
Voces de la Frontera
Wisconsin Black Historical Society
YWCA Southeastern Wisconsin