The idea of setting up a police oversight committee in La Crosse County is going back to a county board committee.
Thursday, supervisors approved a motion to have the criminal justice management council discuss the study plan more before a special committee is formed.
La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf told the county board that local law enforcement believes the planned oversight panel would be aimed at attacking law officers, especially if active officials are not allowed to serve on such a board.
“They’re gonna have to learn what these officers do, day in and day out,” Wolf said Thursday. “But when we’re told that we can’t be a part of this committee, that’s an attack on us, ’cause we want to be better.”
Wolf suggests having civilians go through a police academy before suggesting changes in law enforcement.
Supervisor Steve Doyle agreed with Wolf’s argument that civilians seem to be looking to find fault with the police.
“Perception is reality,” Doyle said. “And the perception among law enforcement right now is that this is something that is intended to get the police, or to punish them.”
Board members disagreed on whether the study plan should be taken up by the criminal justice council, which includes law enforcement and civilians, or by the board’s judiciary and law committee.