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Milwaukee FPC discusses police policies concerning domestic violence after woman's death

FPC members pushed for more training when it comes to domestic violence.
Posted at 10:22 PM, May 04, 2023

MILWAUKEE — The Fire and Police Commission (FPC) and the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) are addressing the handling of a domestic violence report. Days after the report was made to police, the woman who made the report was killed.

Police said they are now reviewing what went wrong and how the department can do better when responding to domestic violence reports.

During the meeting, MPD Chief of Staff Heath Hough said, "I want to acknowledge the tragedy that occurred here... we mourn the loss of this member of our community."

Hough also admitted there was a lack of compassion in the interaction between the victim and officers.

"There wasn't warmth or compassion or welcoming spirit in that moment. Even if we train on the policy, it's not going to teach that," Hough said.

However, FPC Executive Director Leon Todd argued training could help lead to empathy.

"I do think that training related to the psychology and some of the common behavioral matters related to domestic violence, I think can relate and improve some of the compassion issues and can understand and empathize with people in their situation more easily," Todd said.

FPC members pushed for more training when it comes to domestic violence.

"The circumstance of this particular case really speaks to the situation where a victim of domestic violence knows what's going on, reports it, comes forward, has the courage to come forward, and then gets no support. And that's what's so devastating about it," said FPC Commissioner Miriam Horwitz.

The police department says an official review is in the works and could start in the next two months. That will be led by the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission alongside MPD, other partner organizations, and FPC representatives.

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