By Shereen Siewert

City officials this week approved a task force of seven members to assess and analyze Wausau’s policing policies and practices, among other duties.

The Wausau Policing Task Force will also investigate underlying social needs, including mental health problems, homelessness and trauma that bring people into contact with police. The group is also tasked with analyzing officer screening and hiring practices, examining systemic racism and evaluating the role of citizen oversight in Wausau’s policing practices.

Dist. 1 Alder Pat Peckham will represent the City Council on the task force. Two Police and Fire Commission representatives, William Harris and Michael Loy, have also been appointed. Rounding out the task force are four citizen representatives: Sarah Schneck, John Robinson, Michael Klemp-North and Kayley McColley, all of whom were appointed by Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg.

The group will engage in community dialogue about policing, racism and human service needs and will conduct a public hearing on any proposed recommendations.

Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg proposed forming the group in June in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country. The appointments were approved Wednesday by the Wausau City Council.