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As I See It

Police reform bills show our lawmakers can sometimes agree



It doesn’t happen often, so its worth pointing out when it does. Members of both parties of the Wisconsin Legislature actually agree on some things. Even some pretty big things. The Wisconsin Legislature was scheduled to vote yesterday on a series of police reform measures. Amazingly, the recommendations have bipartisan support. This is hardly defunding the police. In fact in some cases it gives police more tools to do their jobs. One of the more contentious recommendations is that police be banned from using chokeholds, except in life-saving situations or in self-defense. That seems rather broad, and critics wanted no exceptions to the use of chokeholds. Other bills to be sent to Governor Tony Evers would create statewide standards and require training for police working in schools. More significantly, police would require that officers who engage or observe a use of force to report it. And any officer who did report a colleague could not be disciplined for it. Other measures would require police to pass a psychological exam before being hired and require more training for officers to learn how to de-escalate situations involving people with mental illness. Not only do these measures have bipartisan support among lawmakers, they also have the support of police. It seems that our state representatives can find common ground and get things done. It just doesn’t happen very often.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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