The DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) will conduct a two-year review of the agency, which comes at the request of Police Chief Ed Flynn. The process involves an extensive look at the policies, practices, training, and community relations of the department.
During a news conference in Milwaukee Thursday, Greg Haanstead, acting U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Wisconsin said the intent of the review is to “identify areas in which the Milwaukee Police Department can improve, to recommend best practice, and to provide any necessary training or technical assistance that will help to strengthen and improve the department.”
The evaluation is voluntary, as is whether the agency implements any of the recommendations. COPS Director Ronald Davis said some have called for a more thorough review of the agency, but promised their process is still rigorous. “This is extremely deep. This is the same kind of review, assessment, pulling back of the layers of an organization as any investigation we would do in the Department of Justice,” he said.
Flynn asked for the review, amid concerns about civil rights violations by his department. He noted that the department has already been working to make reforms, and will continue to do so. “We’ve worked hard to be the best that we can be,” he said. “We also understand that external review by outside experts is undeniably going to uncover things that we can improve, do more often, do more effectively.”
WUWM contributed to this report.