The chairman of the La Crosse County Republican Party spoke out against a recent survey regarding a possible citizen oversight board for local law enforcement.
Bill Feehan said he was shocked and repulsed by what he saw in the survey. It was released to the public by a subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Management Council to discuss developing a Resident Police Advisory/Oversight Board. The survey closed on Feb. 5.
Feehan said the questions were flawed, especially since the survey asked about participants’ race and gender.
“What does the race of the people who are filling out this survey have to do with anything?” Feehan asked. “It should be completely irrelevant. The fact that they want to make this about race shows you that these are the people that really have the problem and that are the real racists. It really reveals the minds of the people who wrote that survey.”
He also argued the survey should have asked whether or not the county needed a citizen oversight committee, not how it should be funded. Feehan said he served nearly 10 years ago on the same subcommittee that put the survey together. He noted there were questions of racism in law enforcement then that he countered.
“This is an old trick from our friends in La Crosse County government,” Feehan said. “They already know what they want to do. They already know that they want to create an oversight board. This is seeking political cover and talking points.”
Feehan said one of the larger issues for law enforcement is the easy release of people charged with crimes who continue criminal conduct while out on signature or low cash bonds. He recommended people contact their local representatives on the county board to share their thoughts on the survey and law enforcement.
The subject was the latest discussion in Feehan’s Fact Check podcast.