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Wausau Considers Community Task Force To Review Police Policy

WAOW Television

As Black Lives Matter protests go on across the country and here in Wisconsin, many activists are asking for reviews of police departments.

Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg said she's been hearing people within the Wausau community make requests for more transparency as well.

"We've been hearing about requests for a little bit more transparency when it comes to our policies. How do we know if they're the right ones? Can we investigate them as a community and know it's the right approach?" Rosenberg said.

Now, she's working to create a community task force to review the police department's policies.

While she said there isn't anything glaring that needs to be changed, she still wants to make sure the department is serving the city in the best ways possible.

Just last week, Wausau Police Chief Ben Bliven addressed calls for #8can'twait policies in a Facebook post. He said that some in the community were asking that the department implement those policies, but he said the department already follows them.

According to 8cantwait.org, those policies include:

  • Ban chokeholds and strangleholds
  • Require de-escalation
  • Require warning before shooting
  • Requires exhaust all alternatives before shooting
  • Duty to intervene
  • Ban shooting at moving vehicles
  • Require use of force continuum
  • Require comprehensive reporting

The mayor hopes to have a lot of community input within the task force.
"I'd like to maybe include someone from the Police and Fire Commission, but also members of our community... I haven't experienced a police force in any other capacity than as an elected official. I don't know what it's like to be a person of color to be pulled over and the terror you feel," Roseberg said.

The proposal for the task force will still have to go to the full council. Rosenberg anticipates that will happen in July.

On Tuesday morning, the Police and Fire Commission will discuss police policy review.

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