- Police departments in Wisconsin will now need to hire an outside agency to investigate deaths that happen in their custody.
Governor Walker signed a bill requiring the outside investigations today.
Lawmakers hope the new law will prevent police departments from protecting their own officers during investigations.
Some Northwoods Police Departments already have plans in place to handle deaths in police custody.
Antigo, Merill, and Rhinelander’s police departments work together to objectively investigate in custody deaths.
"So if something happens, we're not trying to determine how to investigate the critical incident at that time. To have policies, procedures, and training in effect so they can come into the city of Rhinelander or the city of Rhinelander can go in and assist them with one of these investigations," said Rhinelander Police Chief Mike Steffes.
The Rhinelander Police Department also holds a second internal investigation as a precaution.
"Even with an outside agency investigating that, in addition to that, we would conduct an internal investigation. So we knew that all of our policies were adhered and that the safety to the public was paramount," said Chief Steffes.
Chief Steffes believes the new law will make investigations more transparent.
|Story By: Karolina Buczek