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Civilian review board for law enforcement activity proposed for La Crosse County

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La Crosse County is being asked to start a civilian committee to review law enforcement activity in the area.

A special study panel has spent nearly two years working on the idea. Former County Board chair Tara Johnson has served on the committee. She thinks the group has made good progress in proposing a review board.

“I think we always were able to share those perspectives and move to practical and positive conversations, and the recommendations that we are presenting to you,” Johnson said Monday, presenting during the County Board of Supervisors monthly planning meeting.

The civilian board would have 5-7 members. The study group, which included input from law enforcement and members of the public, also has suggested developing history studies for local law enforcement related to how police interact with people of different races.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said the proposal resembles a statewide committee he has served on.

“The purpose was to get a complaint from a victim,” Gruenke said. “We couldn’t change an arrest, we couldn’t change a case, we couldn’t change a conviction or sentence, had no authority to do that. But we tried to do something remedial there, sometimes an apology was in order.”

No action has been taken yet on the civilian review board idea. The report given to the board also included a recommendation to expand a mental health response team to the entire county.

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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Mitey Mite

    February 6, 2024 at 9:53 am

    Yes, we need another committee. A group with the wisdom and values of the school board and city council (sarc).

  2. Kevin

    February 6, 2024 at 12:46 pm

    No – as a LaCrosse taxpayer, I say no, we do not need this extra layer of super sensitive individuals to collect complaints.

    • Opinionated

      February 7, 2024 at 4:46 pm

      Sorry, Kevin, get ready to cough-up some more taxes.

      The City, county and LX schools have burned through $60 million collectively in Build Back Better covid freebees with little tangible to show for it and zero tax relief. Now they will be looking to property tax payers to pay-up to keep all those really cool programs going.

      Buckle up.

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