When La Crosse Police Chief Ron Tischer voiced his
opinion about a court system he thought was too lenient.
his comments drew reaction from judges.
and the public.
But in the weeks since his admission.
?has there been any change?
News 8's Mark McPherson spoke with the Chief today.
he joins us live with more.
There is no doubt that when a police chief publically
criticizes the courts.
it's going to create some tension between the two.
But Tischer says his point wasn't to attack judges.
it was to start a public conversation to create change.
And he is optimistic things are moving in that right
- It got us all in the same room.
Chief Ron Tischer says the first public meeting between
the courts and the police department since he went
public with this concerns.
was an important first step.
- Although not all of our initial concerns were addressed,
I think some things that we talked about are certainly
putting us on the right track to making those changes.
It's a track the chief has been pushing for privately
before finally deciding to go public.
He knew his decision would draw criticism.
but he felt it was important.
- I think it was a point of where now maybe is the
best time, maybe it's not the best time, maybe there
is never a good time to say it but we thought we need
to say something to get this ball rolling so we could
all get talking.
Tischer and at least one local judge say this is not
about a feud.
it's about working to curb a growing drug problem.
?So how do we do that? How do we go from talking
about it to making it happen?
Chief tischer says a good first step would be the
courts drawing a clearer line between the addicts
who are buying drugs.
and the hardened criminals that are making it far
too easy to buy.
- The hardened drug deal criminals, those people aren't
addicted, they're not drug users, so those are the
ones we need to deal with more severely.
When Tischer first came to La Crosse he said his top
priority was drugs.
which makes this discussion even more important.
- We're not going to let it die down and we can't,
I think this is such an important factor of revitilizing
this entire community that we can't let it die so
we're going to keep working at it and I know that
the courts are going to keep working at it as well.
In La Crosse, MM, N8
Chief Tischer says he did speak briefly with a few
judges before last night's Criminal Justice Management
So not everything is being handled in public.
through the press.
there are private conversations as well.
Chief tischer says the department is making progress
when it comes to drugs.
but they have a long way to go.