Wicklund Exonerated, but Police Recommend Additional Training - WBAY

Wicklund Exonerated, but Police Recommend Additional Training

Green Bay - While police have exonerated Officer Wicklund in the excessive force investigation, they say there is always room to improve.

In the final report, police are suggesting more training for all patrol officers. Police have had more than two months to analyze every second of what happened the night of the arrest.

While they say Officer Wicklund's actions were justified, they agree, no one is perfect, and there is always room to improve, so they are recommending more training when it comes to crowd control as well as professional communication skills.

"That's what we tasked ourselves with this as well is what are we learning from it? And we did. We've learned a number of things. When you stop learning, okay, I don't think you open yourself up to be well evaluated and to progress and move forward, because times change, people change, attitudes change," says Green Bay Police Lt. Chad Ramos.

 In the videos, you can see officers trying to control a crowd they described in the report as "hostile," "loud and boisterous" and "a huge mob."

While police work with large crowds frequently, they agree they can improve how they handle them.

"We're very successful with it. This is one incident where, on the front end, I say we, officers could have worked a little bit more with the crowd, if you will, to try to diffuse a little bit of it, but that's easy from my position to say now when I'm not there at 2:15 in the morning," says Ramos.

The final report says, in this case, there were opportunities where officers "could have and should have engaged the crowd... to help calm and (de-escalate) the rising negative sentiment held by them."

It goes on to say police will attend a three day intensive course on crowd control and then train patrol officers for dealing with what they call "mob mentality crowds."

"I don't want someone to be mistaken that by improving on something means that you did something wrong. It just means we can always do something better," explains Ramos.

Police also plan to hold department-wide communication classes and are recommending Wicklund attend an instructor course on professional communication skills, saying he "most likely could have projected himself in a more favorable light when considering his physical mannerisms and language skills."

"While assertive, he was, I asked him to also challenge yourself to engage in a little more dialogue and try to explain, as long as you're not being compromised, and he acknowledges that," says Ramos.

Police say their continuous training comes with their job, and they want to learn from a case anytime they can.

They also have already made some other changes.

The dash cam video of the incident did not have audio.

The report says a department-wide initiative has started to make sure, on each shift, the equipment is working and officers are using the microphones.
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