Use-of-force recommendations put out by a coalition of law enforcement officials and minority leaders are taking hold in Dane County police departments.
The guidelines were announced in February by the Special Community Police Task Force, made up of the NAACP, United Way, law enforcement leaders and the leaders of Color Collaboration.
Since the announcement eight months ago, 17 law enforcement agencies have implemented the protocol in some way.
Those departments include: Madison, McFarland, Cottage Grove, Town of Madison, Verona, Shorewood Hills, Stoughton, Monona, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Oregon, Waunakee, Blue Mounds, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, DeForest police and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.
“The understanding of what the community is going through and their understanding of what our officers are going through, it's been very positive,” Middleton police Chief Charles Foulke said.
Greg Jones, the leader of NAACP in Dane County, said he’s excited to see how the program continues to benefit the community and strengthen ties between police and the community.
“The departments can say ‘This is what we've done to incorporate these recommendations,’ and that's good,” Jones said. “I think the next step is now the departments can build on that and keep the conversation going.”
Police and minority leaders agree that it's also been a way to bond by helping law enforcement officials and black leaders work together.
“There’s a mutual respect, mutual admiration, mutual sharing of information that I think has really been improved,” Foulke said.
“I think you will begin to see there is a strong working relationship and the community is benefiting,” Jones said.