MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has conveyed a request to the U.S. Attorney and Director of Community Oriented Policing Services, requesting a collaborative reform agreement with the Justice Department and Milwaukee Police Department (MPD).
The announcement comes in the wake of the decision that the U.S. Justice Department will not seek federal civil rights charges against former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney for the death of Dontre Hamilton at Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park on April 30, 2014.
Flynn told reporters he made the request because he believes "there are many in this community that still question this department's commitment to reform as well as its commitment to transparency."
Flynn indicated that on Monday, November 9th, MPD received accreditation from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group (WLEAG). He said that demonstrated MPD had met WLEAG's standards in 226 areas of concern -- and were able to demonstrate that MPD's policies met current state of practice policies.
"We have been committed to reform here for eight years. We have accomplished much," said Flynn. "We have presided over decreases in crime, while at the same time presiding over dramatic decreases in the use of force, dramatic decreases in the number of citizen complaints lodged against this agency, dramatic decreases in the number of people injured by the police in either uses of force or our pursuits of non-violent offensives."
Flynn told reporters MPD is committed to reform -- and convinced that external review of the department's policies, procedures and practices will verify the progress MPD has made.
Chief Flynn said, "I am convinced we can withstand any scrutiny."
Flynn also made a point of saying "collaborative reform does not innoculate a police department against a pattern and practice lawsuit."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett commented on this on Tuesday, and how Flynn's request relates to the Dontre Hamilton case.
"This was a decision made in Washington, D.C. -- or certainly with the approval of Washington, D.C. at the federal level and it is my hope that what we can do moving forward is we can make sure that our police department can do what it can, so that our officers are trained. The police chief today announced that he is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to work with us on a collaborative basis, to the city of Milwaukee Police Department. This is done with full transparency. We are hoping that we will be able to gain insights from other communities, other police departments -- that we can use best practices and that our police officers will then be better trained. I'm very supportive of the efforts of our police department and our police chief to partner with the federal government so that we can better train our officers and make sure that we have all the most up to date and appropriate training. I think our police department has done a very good job up to this point and I'm confident they'll be able to keep doing that," Mayor Barrett said.
CLICK HERE for complete coverage of the Dontre Hamilton case via FOX6Now.com.