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Leaked Draft Sheds Light on Milwaukee Police Policies

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PHOTO BY MEGAN DOBYNS
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Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn

Some Milwaukee aldermen are criticizing Police Chief Edward Flynn, after a draft report about his department became public.

The federal report, obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, accuses the department of inconsistencies in officer discipline, as well as failures in communication.

Stan Stojkovic is a police science expert at UW-Milwaukee.

He says the report sheds a different light on Flynn's  use of data to drive police action and community policing. However, a draft report by the federal government points to just the opposite.

"That's an interesting tragedy and irony I think at both levels because he's trying to do something that I think police should have been doing many, many years ago. Use data, use evidence to make the best informed decision. But it sounds like what's happening is that's not translating into actual practice. And that's where the  rubber meets the road. The chief has to translate that into practice. This report suggest that he  wasn't going far enough and was missing the boat. He was overemphasizing data to the detriment of communicating community policing principles and ideas to the rank and file," Stojkovic says.

While Flynn requested the probe, he hasn't been shy about his concerns over the findings in the draft report.

He's said it's riddled with inaccuracies.

As for when the final draft will be released, that question remains unanswered.

Since Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Attorney  General the Department of Justice has changed it's focus and now says that local policing should be dealt with on a local level.

Stojkovic says that's a mistake.

"In some cases, if you don't have potentially the club of the Department of Justice things don't get done," Stojkovic says.

Stojkovic says that by turning his back, Sessions is minimizing deep-seated issues.

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