NAACP demands improvement on Milwaukee police/community relations

Group sends city leaders recommendations
Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 20:09:30-04

Community leaders are calling for changes to improve relationships between Milwaukee Police and people of color.

On Monday, the NAACP sent specific recommendations to Milwaukee's mayor and police chief.

"This city is the most hyper-segregated city in the United States," said NAACP President Fred Royal.

Royal is one of more than a dozen community leaders who wrote and sent a letter Monday, including local pastors, and representatives of various African American and Latin American organizations.

"We need to have the dialogue, we need to have the commitment," Royal said. "We don't want to just send them a letter and have it sit on their desk. We need to have these changes."

As part of their plan, the letter includes six specific recommendations, including continuing Public Safety Committee meetings and conducting research on the effectiveness of certain crime fighting strategies in the city.

One item speaks to unbiased police service and recruiting officers who reflect Milwaukee's diversity. According to Royal, only 20 percent of Milwaukee's 1,800 member police force is African American.

"We're not criticizing the police department to the extreme," said Royal. "We're saying there's room for improvement."

He says he hopes to receive a response some time this week and hopes to see real action taken on these items in the next several months.

"For the benefit of my grandchildren, I don't want them to be growing up in a community in which they are being looked at as less than human just because of the color of their skin."