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La Crosse County study group looking into local policing meets for first time

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La Crosse County has just launched the latest local effort to improve relations between law enforcement and the general public.  An 18-member committee to study policing in the county met for the first time on Tuesday. 

Former county board chair Tara Johnson was appointed to lead the new committee.

Police study committee meets Tuesday at La Crosse County administrative center

“I’m kinda blown away, like what sits around this table, and I am grateful for everyone’s willingness to come and do this work,” Johnson told committee members.

Appointees to the study panel include La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf, and the police chiefs of La Crosse and Onalaska, as well as attorneys, and representatives of the community. 

They’re expected to meet over the next year or so to work on recommendations for a permanent oversight group, and their results will be referred to the county’s judiciary and law committee.

Johnson says having public hearings may be part of the group’s work, but not all of it.    

Other panel members said they want to better the community, and change local police work in a positive way.  The idea of an oversight committee was proposed in the last two years, following public demonstrations in La Crosse related to the death of George Floyd, and police actions in Kenosha and other cities in the region.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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