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Date last updated: Friday, May 1, 21:09 PST

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Wis. police department receives grant for much-needed new interview room

Andrea Budde
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE — The Village Police Department will soon have a much-needed and anticipated interview room, complete with brand new video equipment. The department was given a $1,930 grant from the Office of Justice Assistance, which will cover the cost of a 16-channel DVR with CD/DVDRW, one terabyte hard disc drive and 10-inch monitor with speaker; all of which records and plays in high-definition video.

Police Chief Mike Hartert explained that several years ago, the state passed a law that departments voice record any suspect being interviewed for a potential felony. Since that law took effect, the department has been using a handheld voice recorder, but Hartert said it's a better practice in most cases to have both voice and visual recordings.

The department currently lacks an interview room, which is necessary for not only interviewing suspects, but also for speaking with victims, often about sensitive matters. Currently victims are often interviewed in the Village Board meeting room. Several Police Department and board members as well as residents have volunteered to build an interview room in the station during November. The majority of materials will come from scraps left over from building the new Fire Department. Hartert said tat if there is any cost involved, it will be minimal.

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