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Dane Co. Sheriff helps craft national road map to repair trust between law enforcement and communities

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 9:14 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - This week, a new national road map for communities and police to rebuild trust.

It’s called the “Future of Public Safety” and was released by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It comes after months of protests over the history of racial injustice.

The report details nine points of consensus among law enforcement, activists, union leaders, and elected official. Some of which includes decriminalizing mental health, homelessness, and substance abuse and investing in a network of social services. The goal to make a more racially-just system of public safety and policing across the country.

Among the nearly 40 speakers invited to participate was Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

“We have to build that relationship of trust, because we wont always do it right,” said Dane County Sheriff, Dave Mahoney. “We haven’t always done it right. We have to acknowledge we haven’t always done it right and show a willingness to move forward from there.”

In addition to serving as the Dane County Sheriff, he is also the President of the National Sheriff’s Association in Washington, D.C. representing more than 3,000 sheriff’s across the country.

“I brought the perspective of a Midwest sheriff on the heels of a Memorial Day homicide of George Floyd,” said Sheriff Mahoney. “And the impact of that betrayal of trust by a law enforcement officer, what it did to deteriorate the trust and legitimacy of law enforcement across this country.”

NBC15′s Amy Pflugshaupt asked him what’s being done in Dane County to repair these broken relationships with the community and police, he said cultural awareness and bias training is a must for not only local law enforcement, but all over the country.

“We are doing it in Dane County. I know that Madison Police is doing it and many other law enforcement agencies are,” said Sheriff Mahoney. “I’m committed to prioritizing the nine points of consensus outlined in this report.”

This isn’t the first time this group has met, nor will it be the last. Sheriff Mahoney anticipates a follow-up meeting to determine what progress has been made.

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