Earlier this year I and many members of our Common Council signed on to former President Barak Obama’s Reimagining Policing Pledge. President Obama is calling upon local officials to review and reform use of force policies, redefine public safety, and combat systemic racism within law enforcement.

As we work towards these goals, my office has kept the Obama Foundation up to date on the City’s efforts to reimagine public safety. This includes the long-term, community-based effort to pass historic legislation establishing the Office of the Independent Police Monitor and the Civilian Oversight Board. It also includes more recent efforts in my proposed budget to create a Violence Prevention Unit in our City-County public health department and to innovate with an alternative Crisis Response Team for behavioral health emergencies.

President Obama saluted Madison’s efforts around the Civilian Oversight Board on his Twitter feed @BarackObama highlighting how “community groups will now choose the members of a new civilian police oversight board, which must include at least one member who was previously incarcerated.”

President Obama's tweet

The President also recognized a Task Force on 21st Century Policing in Washtenaw County, Michigan, and the Northwestern University researchers' partnership with Evanston Police in Illinois on use of force decisions.

Madison’s ordinance creating the Civilian Oversight Board passed unanimously at the September 1st Common Council meeting, thanks to the diligent efforts of Madison Police Department Policy & Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee and Alders Moreland, Bidar and Kemble. Community groups nominated dozens of potential members, and dozens more community members nominated themselves. A robust slate of appointees were unanimously approved by the Common Council at their October 6th meeting.

You can see the list of appointees here. The Board will begin meeting in November 2020.

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Category: Equity