I am a retired USAF pilot who attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I understand mishap investigations, professional cultural issues, and the training and discipline of a profession that uses deadly force. Most importantly, I am a father who lost a son due to problems associated with the current law enforcement culture and training.

The Problem

The following solution addresses each problem stated above. It is modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board and the United States Air Force Mishap Investigation Board, is a departure from aged 19th century thinking of self investigation.

The Critical Incident Review Board

The Critical Incident Review Board consists of a five member panel composed of two police chiefs or assistant police chiefs (or other senior law officer), two criminal justice/law professors, all either active or retired and a former judge or District Attorney. This board is appointed by the Wisconsin Attorney General to review a police incident that has resulted in death. The police chief of the municipality in which a fatality has occurred would not be allowed to serve on the panel to review his/her organization, yet would be allowed to conduct an internal organizational review.

In addition, a special prosecutor would be assigned to the Attorney General's office thus removing direct election pressure to prosecute any findings by the CIRB.

Professionals in law enforcement (educators, attorneys, prosecutors and officers) must review law enforcement. Yet it is important that those with an institutional stake in the outcome remain outside the review. In order to maintain objectivity, local law enforcement, monitored by outside law enforcement, would collect evidence and pass the detailed investigative findings to the Critical Incident Review Board for analysis and recommendations. After the CIRB review is complete, the Board passes its findings to the Attorney General (special prosecutor), the local chief or sheriff and the District Attorney for accolades or, if necessary, disciplinary or criminal charges. The benefits include the following:

Please write a letter to the Department of Justice and FBI asking that they investigate the Michael Bell shooting and help change how Wisconsin investigates Police fatal shootings and in-custody deaths.

US Attorney James Santelle
517 E. Wisconsin Ave Suite 530
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Office (414)297-1700
Fax (414)297-1738

FBI Special Agent in Charge
Patricia M. Ferrick
330 E. Kilbourn Avenue Suite 600
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Fax (414)291-2400