Gov. Evers orders state-run law enforcement to review, update use-of-force policies

Tony Evers in front of a flag

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order Wednesday directing state-run law enforcement agencies to review and update their use-of-force policies.

The order applies to Wisconsin State Capitol Police, the Wisconsin State Patrol and The Department of Natural Resources Division of Public Safety and Resource Protection. Just prior to Evers issuing the order, a subcommittee of Wisconsin’s Racial Disparities Task Force released 18 recommendations for police reform laws.

“We’re getting to work here on the state level to make sure we’re leading by example and setting the bar in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “Wisconsinites across our state are demanding action and meaningful, systemic change—this is a critically important step, but it can’t be the last.”

Evers’ executive order comes a day after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd. Floyd’s death spurred worldwide protests and varying calls for police reform, defunding and abolition.

Calls for police reform rang out in Wisconsin, too. In August 2020, Evers called a special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature to address policing accountability and transparency. The Legislature gaveled out of the session without taking any action.

Evers went on to include a number of criminal justice reform proposals in his 2021-23 biennial budget.

A copy of Evers’ executive order is available online.