(MADISON) – Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee), working with colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee to introduce a motion that requires law enforcement agencies to: obtain approval from the local governing entity before receiving equipment; report on the use of weapons or machines within 14 days of use, and; publish notice when requesting equipment under the program. Additionally, the motion requires the local government entity to develop policies to specify the appropriate use of equipment.
“At a time when we are seeing increased tension between communities and law enforcement, in some cases leading to the deaths of citizens, it is important to provide oversight and accountability in this program,” Taylor said. “There is no doubt that law enforcement needs equipment in order to protect and serve the community, but that should not come at the expense of citizen review and involvement. This motion recognizes that we have heard the outcry from our constituents, and helps to ensure that communities have a voice in how and when it is appropriate for this equipment to be used.”
The motion was made during the April 17th executive session on the Military Property Program. Under current law, the federal Department of Defense can transfer excess military property to state and local law enforcement agencies. The motion passed unanimously on a 16-0 vote.