Madison Common Council approves police oversight measures after hourslong discussion

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 2:54 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Common Council approved oversight measures for the Madison Police Department early Wednesday morning, after around 6 hours of discussion.

The four items discussed by the Common Council for hours Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning included the creation of an 11-member Police Civilian Oversight Board. That board will be tasked with appointing an Independent Police Monitor, conducting police assessments and making recommendations to the Madison Police Department.

Nine members of the board will be nominated by community organizations like Freedom Inc. and Dane County’s branch of the NAACP. There are also certain requirements for the members of the board, including that 25 to 40 percent of members should have a “lived experienced with homelessness, mental health, substance abuse and/or arrest or conviction records.”

The Independent Police Monitor position was also included in the items discussed during the Common Council’s meeting. That paid position would review when use of force is used by police officers in Madison as well as overview citizen complaints concerning policing.

Neither the Independent Police Monitor nor the Police Civilian Oversight Board will have the power to fire or discipline police. Those actions are still the job of Madison’s Police and Fire Commission. The newly-created position and board will also not have the power to participate in investigations of officer-involved deaths.

Initial recommendations for civilian oversight of police came from an Ad-Hoc committee formed in 2015 following the death of Tony Robinson by a police officer in Madison.

A full rundown of items 84 through 87 concerning police oversight can be found in the Madison Common Council’s agenda here.

Following the vote, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s office released the following statement:

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