Appleton Police Receive National Recognition for Innovative Policing
On May 13, 2016, Chief Todd Thomas represented the Appleton Police Department at the White House; participating in a briefing and panel discussion on criminal justice reform. The inclusion of our agency was the result of an invitation by the Deputy Director to the President. Prior to the invitation, White House staff had read about a variety of the Appleton Police Department’s recent innovative policing strategies. Programs including our Five Pillar Initiative, Summer of Service program and our stance against the proposed “sanctuary city” legislation were several of the strategies drawing attention to the Appleton Police Department.
Chief Thomas was one of 30 chiefs, sheriffs, federal officials and other national law enforcement leaders to attend the briefing entitled “Criminal Justice Reform, Community Policing, and Working with Immigrant and Refugee Communities”. Among the attendees were law enforcement leaders from communities around the country, including Seattle, San Antonio and St. Paul.
Following the event, Chief Thomas said, “What we learned was we (the Appleton Police Department) are truly a leader in the nation, being innovative and compassionate in how we police.” Chief Thomas discussed Appleton’s efforts with these law enforcement leaders. He was also able to hear what other agencies are doing, which may inspire initiatives at the Appleton Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.
According to Chief Thomas, “There is an undeniable overlap between criminal justice reform, community policing and working with our immigrant and refugee communities. We have worked hard with our community to ensure we have their trust. We have what some other agencies don’t have; legitimacy. Any police officer working in any community across this country needs legitimacy. When we have systems fail at the state and federal level and ineffective immigration laws, police officers are the ones who suffer and bear the burden for these failures; which makes our communities less safe.”
Chief Thomas added, “We will continue to work on these issues with this group and at the state and local level. We are committed to compassionate policing which protects our community and also holds offenders accountable.”
If you would like further information please contact Sgt. Dave Lund at (920) 832-5509.