Meeting offers opportunity for improved police relations

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 23:40:50-04

MILWAUKEE- People from all walks of life met to come up with an action plan on how to improve relationships between police and the Milwaukee community.  The Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs sat community leaders and citizens side by side on the heels of last week’s shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Texas.

"We have more in common than we have differences, but most of the time if we don't get together we don't know that," said Tracy Jones of Milwaukee. 

Individuals were asked not to interrupt each other and to speak for themselves using personal experiences. 

"I'm looking at you from one way, you're looking at me from one way, until we sit down and hold a conversation. Then, we understand what we have in common and we can work from there," explained Jones.

Participants had the opportunity to express their concerns.  

"Specifically policeman are not involved directly often enough with the communities that they serve," said Alexandra Lesnick, Milwaukee.

Those in attendance were encouraged to share their ideas on ways to move forward.

"If there were potentially more beat cops or cops in the community at community events they may feel inherently more comfortable with community members as well as the opposite.  Community members will feel more comfortable with them," explained Lesnick.

The Office on African American Affairs was formed to resolve racial issues on a local level.  Milwaukee County's Deputy Chief of Staff says it's working. 

"It works because people can be themselves and they can be honest and they can be comfortable," explained Nate Holton, Milwaukee County Deputy Chief of Staff. 

The group will share their findings with the public. To join in the next conversation, click here