As the chief of police for the Sturtevant Police Department and the president of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, one of the most challenging parts of my job is seeing up close the heartbreaking impact crime has on innocent victims. Through no fault of their own, good people are subjected to terrible acts against them that can change their lives forever. If surviving the crime isn’t tough enough, victims then have to navigate a criminal justice process, which can sometimes make them feel like they are the ones who are on trial.
This is why I was proud to join Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin in their recent recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week as a strong supporter of their legislation to strengthen the rights of crime victims. This bipartisan proposal, which is authored by Sen. Van Wanggaard, will help level the playing field in the courtroom for victims by giving them strong, enforceable Constitutional rights. Accused persons rightly are protected by the Constitution. Why shouldn’t a victim be as well?
This bipartisan proposal is made up of common-sense provisions to ensure that victims of crime are empowered throughout the legal process. Common-sense requirements that would not only dramatically improve the lives of victims but would help keep all of the members of our communities informed and safe.
I am proud to be part of the substantial bipartisan coalition in support of this legislation, which includes over 350 law enforcement leaders, survivors, victim advocacy groups and other stakeholders that have endorsed Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. Few proposals have ever had this kind of overwhelming support.
The good news is that Sen. Wanggaard and the 50 other bipartisan co-sponsors of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin have made significant progress in advancing this proposal. Last session, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin was approved by a strong bipartisan vote of 110-14.
Earlier this year, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin was introduced for second consideration and approved by Senate and Assembly committees. The last steps in the process will be for the full assembly and Senate to vote on the measure, and then turn it over to the voters for approval in a statewide referendum.
I hope you’ll join me in calling for our state legislators to finish the job by passing Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin once more in the Senate and Assembly so that the people of Wisconsin can have their say on this Constitutional Amendment. Visit and tell them to support Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2.
Wisconsin crime victims shouldn’t have to wait any longer for equal rights.