Officer Wicklund complaints compared to other officers
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Police Department is providing new information about how the officer in a viral cell phone video stacks up to his peers.
Officer Derek Wicklund is currently being investigated for using excessive force in the arrest shown in the video.
A FOX 11 open records request last month showed Officer Wicklund had six excessive force complaints against him in the last eight years. In an effort to bring you balance, FOX 11 asked the Green Bay Police Department how that number compares to other officers.
Wednesday afternoon, the department provided some answers.
The Green Bay Police Department hired Wicklund in July 2002. Ten officers were hired within about a year of that date. The department did not give FOX 11 the officer's names. All of them are still with the department.
Another FOX 11 open records request shows of those officers, Wicklund has the third most citizen complaints, with 15. The officer with the most had 25.
However, when it comes to excessive force complaints, Wicklund has the most with six. The next closest officer has four. The rest either have two, one, or none.
“He's been one of the officers that has always liked to work, so he's in some of the more hard hit areas of our community,” said Captain Bill Galvin with the Green Bay Police Department. “He's a very aggressive officer when it comes to fighting crime, so that could be a possible explanation there also.”
Galvin says between Wicklund and the ten other officers, there were 20 investigated excessive force complaints. Internal investigations found no wrongdoing in any of the complaints.
Earlier this year, Lt. Chad Ramos testified in Brown County Court that the Green Bay Police Department investigates between 120 and 200 use of force cases a year. In the last year, Ramos said none were found to be excessive.
“People think it's police investigating police and we're just going to whitewash everything and that's not the case,” said Galvin. “We care about this department, we care about the image within this community. There are officers that have complaints made against them that have been sustained and they have been punished.”
Galvin says in his opinion, most citizen complaints are filed by people who were arrested.
“I think they have to understand that one, a lot of the complaints are made by individuals that in a large amount have very little contact with police,” said Galvin. “They're understanding of police and how police operate is based on what they see on TV.”
Captain Galvin says a number of factors contribute to one officer having more complaints than another. They include what shift and part of the city the officer works.
Galvin also told FOX 11 the state is still investigating Wicklund's arrest from the April cell phone video.