The United States has a long history of racism that has left its mark on the institutions of our nation. Law enforcement is no exception. At UWM, we acknowledge this harmful legacy as well as the justified public outcry over the history of racial injustice, and instances of violence by police across the country. We acknowledge the pain and anger that it has caused, and we agree that law enforcement can and must strive to do better.
Some have asked the question as to why we even need a campus police department. Our primary goal is your safety, and unfortunately, crimes can and do occur on and near our campus. Such actions are a threat to life and necessitate a response by our police officers. UWM’s annual Security and Fire report provides statistics on crimes and fire incidents for the last three reportable years (Annual Safety Reports). The UWM police received 23,500 calls for service – calls that resulted in 1,964 formal police reports and investigations without external complaints made against any officers in the department. We provide service 24/7 for our faculty, staff, students, visitors, and surrounding neighbors. We are responding to you, our constituents, who have requested increased presence from us.
Going forward, we will work toward increased trust and reconciliation by seeking more diverse voices in reviews of our actions. To accomplish that, we will establish an independent UWM police advisory group, consisting of faculty, staff, students, governance, and the external community. This group will start with a charge to review and enhance training for UWM police officers, including anti-racism and anti-bias training that we will start in the Fall, as well as ideas for interaction and engagement between UWM police and the campus community, and discuss issues and interactions between police and community. It is hoped that such work will strengthen the communication between the UWM campus communities and the police and lead to further collaboration in the future.
The following link (Frequently Asked Questions) will take you to a document that provides additional information regarding several areas of our work. Here you will find information regarding our policies and practices on hiring, performance management, inclusion efforts, training, and community engagement (both internal and external to campus). The FAQs and other information will be updated on a frequent basis.
The aim of the UWM Police Department is to be a model for meaningful partnership and change. We acknowledge that there is room for improvement. Actions speak louder than words. Your continued input is critical as we move forward. We ask you – the campus community – to work with us through active participation, constructive criticism of our efforts, and innovative ways to help us provide a safer and more secure and just environment for all.