With the onset of the pandemic, we have seen crime rates rise across the country including in Wisconsin. We have to invest in robust public safety, violence prevention efforts while ensuring communities of color are not being unfairly targeted by law enforcement. Outagamie County has proven we can accomplish both.
We must invest more in police training to ensure our officers are equipped to handle the difficult situations they are oftentimes thrown into. And we should pair this with expanded funding for intervention services, so proper professionals are handling mental health crises. Law enforcement should be held accountable for their actions when using deadly force. The tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor show we cannot tolerate any “bad apples” when it comes to the folks we rely on to protect our communities.
- Fully fund law enforcement and public safety while also supporting the development and expansion of programs that separate policing from responses requiring mental health or social welfare responses.
- Support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants while improving police training. Require local and state police agencies to use body cameras and address police militarization by limiting how much military-grade equipment is awarded to state and local law enforcement agencies.
- Legalize and decriminalize marijuana and end the war on drugs that disproportionately affects minority communities.
- As County Executive, Tom has already implemented many model public safety reforms with the broad support of law enforcement, public defenders, health and human service agencies, veterans groups and the county board. Outagamie County’s crime rate is lower than the Wisconsin average. Before Tom was elected as County Exec, a new prison was being considered. Under Tom’s leadership, taxpayer money was saved and crime reduced through alternatives to incarceration.
- Created and developed a model criminal justice treatment services department. Outagamie County is one of the few counties to house mental health, veterans and drug treatment courts, alternatives to incarceration that go to the root causes of crime and address those factors. These alternative courts keep people out of the system and return them to our community where they lead safe, prosperous lives, raising families and contributing to the wellbeing of our county.
- Outagamie County uses evidence-based decision practices that identifies low risk versus high risk offenders and does not mix the two in the system. The latter are kept out of the system where they may work a program in the alternative courts or have supervised release.