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Milwaukee assistant police chief retires after 28 years of service

Posted at 10:35 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 11:41:28-05

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee Asst. Police Chief Raymond Banks is calling it quits after nearly 30 years of serving the community he calls home.

From the time he was a child growing up in Memphis, Tenn., Asst. Chief Ray Banks knew he wanted to serve and protect with respect. It was the way police officers engaged with blacks during the civil rights movement of 1968.

"I remember seeing how the police officers were behaving with people and how people were being battered and hit," Banks said.

He recalls the images he saw as a youth during the civil right's movement.

"And I remember how my grandfather was telling me that that wasn't right and police shouldn't do that," he said.

And from the moment he received his badge, he has always thought about the community, especially the most vulnerable.

"My passion has always been working with kids because people did that for me and I wanted to give back to the community."

He admits serving as a public figure has come with a price. In 2018 a former officer accused Banks of inappropriate behavior and retaliation. Both caused an internal investigation, and the Waukesha Police Department found the claims unfounded. He shared how the experience impacted him.

"The black eye on my reputation, 28 years I've never been disciplined for anything I mean, I think that's quite an accomplishment and to have it happen toward the end of your career was just not an ideal situation," Banks said.

The summer of 2019 was a tough one with the road rage death of Brooklyn Harris, and then a few month later another senseless crime took the life of two children at 22nd and Center.

"I saw the video of the young, of a little girl skipping toward the corner and knowing what was about to happen," said Banks. "[She] did everything right, everything right, holding hands, looking both ways, waiting for the light to change. I just say that I need a mental health break."

Today, after 28 years, the assistant chief is leaving a career he loves. But before he walks out the door one last time, he has these words for the next generation of officers:

"Never forget what it was like before you were a police officer," he said. "Serve people with the same dignity and respect that you want to be treated with. It will serve you well."

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