On Rumors

Whitewater is a small town, with a population under fifteen thousand, approximately half of whom are college students. One of the advantages of being far smaller than Los Angeles or Atlanta should be the ease with which municipal leaders and law enforcement can meet and talk to residents. A person of average health and energy […]

The Politics of Informants at UW-Whitewater

In a well-ordered community, there should be an accord between good policy and good politics. That’s not yet Whitewater, and this post will address the political implications of using confidential informants.  (For a review of policy, please see yesterday’s How Rural Wisconsin Campuses Coerce Students into Becoming Drug Informants.) 1. Police Leadership.  There’s almost no […]

Lack of Diligence, Front and Center

In the fall, during the 11.6.13 Whitewater’s Police and Fire Commission meeting, the PFC’s chairperson introduced a draft code of ethics and drafts of procedures for complaints and interviewing candidates for employment or promotion.   I wrote about that meeting afterward, because the drafts were poorly written, and in the case of the procedures for […]

Policies for the Police and Fire Commission

Whitewater’s Police and Fire Commission meets tonight at 5:30 PM, to interview patrol officers and consider several policy documents. Those documents appear below, and at the bottom of this post readers will find the video recording of last week’s PFC meeting. There are five processes or documents to be considered tonight: (1)  PFC Oath  (2) […]

The End of the Beginning

After a British victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein, Churchill famously observed of the war in November 1942 that  ….Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning…. So it is, even locally, with the War on Drugs. […]

Zoning Debates Are Often Just a Distraction from Failed Criminal Enforcement Strategies

Here’s the third post in a trilogy about residential housing in Whitewater.  For the first two posts, see, Old Whitewater Dreams of a Student Rez and The University’s Role in Town-Gown Issues. Recap: (1) pointing to the northwest corner of the city for student rentals without actual, additional housing in that area is an empty solution, and (2) the university’s planned […]

Common Council Session of 9.17.13: Police and Fire Commission Dismissal Proceedings

Last night’s Common Council session had a large agenda, including toward the end consideration of whether to appoint outside counsel for a possible complaint against a Police and Fire Commissioner. After a closed session of about seventy minutes, Council returned to open session and unanimously voted to authorize outside counsel to be hired for a […]

Police and Fire Commission Interviewing

Police & Fire Commission 08/29/2013 from Whitewater Community TV on Vimeo. Last week, Whitewater’s Police and Fire Commission considered whether to have the Whitewater police chief or senior police leaders present at civilian PFC interviews of candidates (promotions, etc.). (See, about this topic, Interviews & Citizen Oversight.) Whitewater’s past practice has been to assure that […]

Interviews & Citizen Oversight

The responsibility to interview a candidate should – and reasonably does – require that one interviews with one’s independent judgment. If the interviewer, himself or herself, is under someone’s else’s watch, then the interviewers aren’t truly independent (and candidates see that, too). There’s a Police and Fire Commission meeting tonight, at 6 PM. The principal […]

Local Policing and Point-of-View Cameras

There’s a story about my town’s (Whitewater, Wisconsin’s) decision to equip its on-patrol officers with point-of-view cameras. A small video camera will record officer interactions with residents. Reportedly, all interactions will be recorded, and at the end of each shift, officers [will] download all videos into a general file that would get deleted automatically after […]

Scenes from Whitewater’s Failing Drug War

Less than a week ago, at Whitewater’s Common Council session of 5.21.13, the city heard a presentation supposedly on university policies ‘to educate young adults’ about the dangers of substance abuse. It was anything but that: after brief introductions from City Manager Clapper and Chancellor Richard Telfer, UW-Whitewater Police Chief Matt Kiederlen delivered scripted, doctrinaire, […]