City chief of police replies to questions about department


Thank you for reaching out to me and the City of Whitewater Police Department.  I am always looking for and open to opportunities to reach out to our Whitewater community.  Complete transparency is of the utmost importance to me.

Regarding your statement – “concerns have been raised over the last year with concern and questions towards police departments”

American law enforcement agencies and their officers are in the unique and unenviable position of being the target of protesters, demonstrators, rioters and looters. At the same time, it is our duty to keep those same people safe. Responding to civil disturbances like we have seen elsewhere in Wisconsin and across our country is complex and difficult. As police officers, we take an oath to protect our community and to have the courage to hold ourselves and one another accountable for our actions or failures to act. We are not perfect and we will never make that claim. We are human and we too make mistakes. Fortunately, an overwhelming majority of police officers do the right thing and take appropriate action during the multitude of citizen contacts they have on every shift.

Being a police officer is a difficult job, but it’s also a very rewarding one. We’re forced to make split-second decisions that most people cannot imagine, but we do so with a large amount of best-practice and ongoing training. City of Whitewater Police Department officers are regularly trained in de-escalation, defensive and arrest tactics, fair and impartial policing, implicit bias training and much more.

Perhaps just as important as training is our visibility in our community and our very frequent positive citizen interactions. These are the deposits we make into the “bank of community trust.” I firmly believe that my officers and I have a duty to not only protect and serve, but to also be positive role models for our youth and ambassadors of good will to all. Between calls for service, you see us parking our squads and walking our business corridors and residential neighborhoods. We host and attend numerous annual events such as Shop with a Cop, Pick a Day Come and Play, Coffee with a Cop, Big Rig Gig, National Night Out, A Day at the Fair, Cone with a Cop, Citizens’ Police Academy and many more. I confidently share that we enjoy a strong and close working relationship with a vast majority of our community. Please take some time to scroll through our police department’s Facebook page to learn a bit more of what we are about.

Regarding your statement – “how does the Whitewater Police Department ensure the safety and protection of everyone in the community”

I believe that the key word here is “everyone.” Our police department subscribes to the belief that everyone plays a role on public safety. To that end, possessing and maintaining our strong relationship with our community directly lends to a safer place for all who live, work, study and recreate in our city. This police department engages in proactive policing (applied uniformly) rather than strictly reactive policing. This strategy greatly reduces crime and disorder – along with the fear and perceptions of both.

Please see the attached photo which shows that the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater was named the safest college campus in Wisconsin in 2019! Although I would like for the city police department to receive the credit for this wonderful achievement, I know for a fact that so many other entities and people played and continue to play a large role in this.

In closing, our wish is for all in Whitewater to be kind to one another. Stand up for what is right and condemn what is wrong. We are a strong community and we will continue to be so.    

Aaron Michael Raap

Chief of Police

City of Whitewater