More diversity encouraged among Superior Fire and Police commission

By KBJR News 1

February 13, 2014 Updated Feb 13, 2014 at 12:04 AM CDT

Superior, Wis. (NNCNOW.com) -- Following a high profile alleged police brutality case in Superior, a discussion on Wednesday at the Police and Fire Commission meeting included diversity.

The Police and Fire Commission oversees both departments.

One duty of the commission is to conduct investigations and hearings regarding members of the police and fire departments.

Commission members discussed the status of the police department's internal investigation involving Natasha Lancour, a Superior woman involved in a parking lot altercation with a Superior Police officer in January.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice investigated the incident and will determine whether Officer, George Gothner, used excessive force against Lancour that night.

Lancour's attorney, Richard Gondick, said the State of Department of Justice should have their report on District Attorney, Dan Blank's, desk by Thursday.

Gondick says he will demand a speedy trial to have the charges against Lancour dropped.

Lancour said she attended the meeting to learn more about how her case is being handled.

"It's nice to come out to put a face to the people who are above the fire chief, and figure out who is who and know the names and the faces and to support what I want; which is to be involved in a citizen's review board," she said.

The commission also discussed having more diversity among its members and heard from a former member.

"What you don't have is a person of color, and that would give you much more credibility because at least if someone had a complaint they would feel comfortable coming before you," said Sandra Wright, a former commission member and concerned citizen.

"I feel like them discussing it, there was open opinion and there are minds that are open to it." said Lancour. "I'm grateful for that and that's good, that's what we need in Superior."

Members are appointed by the mayor who are then approved by the city council.

The commission discussed drafting a recommendation to the mayor to have their next member be a person of color.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com

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