#HumanityCenteredSaturday: KPD Detective Tommar Franklin trying to make change from within

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KENOSHA ⏤ Kenosha Police Department Detective Tommar Franklin has served his nation and his community for much of his life.

Franklin has been in law enforcement for nearly 13 years, serving as a detective for almost three years. He has also called Kenosha home for over 20 years. 

During his time in the service, Franklin engaged with law enforcement and even the water patrol in Milwaukee. 

Thus, Franklin decided to become a police officer after leaving the Coast Guard, as he was familiar with law enforcement roles already.

Life as an officer

In 2008, he applied to the KPD to be a part of the solution and make real change within law enforcement, he said.

The job of a detective mainly entails behind-the-scenes work from the initial officers and continues the efforts to solve it. And while many may think of matters of guilt or innocence when it comes to the courts, Franklin’s work as a detective is in seeking the truth. 

“It’s just as important for a detective to eliminate a suspect in a certain situation as it is for them to find the correct person it is,” he said.

“Law enforcement is the kind of job that you really don’t know what it is until you do it.”

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Dealing with stereotypes

Likewise, Franklin knows all too well about the stereotypes that come with being a law enforcement officer. 

And as a Black man in America, he can empathize and understand the warped perception those stereotypes can spread in the community. 

Franklin mentioned that training on subjects such as implicit bias are in the works at the department. It’s difficult to weed out the bad apples in any job, but the department has a lot of effort and measures to make sure that the right people are being hired, Franklin said. 

“It’s very easy for law enforcement to understand how biases work because they’re stereotyped and grouped together all the time for things that they shouldn’t be,” he explained. 

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Department needs to build up community trust

With the recent examples and ongoing conversation on instances of police brutality across the nation, many have already made their minds up about what it means to be a police officer. 

Locally, the Kenosha Police Department needs to rebuild trust with the community; Franklin knows that.

He plans to do what he can to help. 

“With some communities who have lower trust in law enforcement, that didn’t happen overnight so it can’t be changed overnight,” Franklin said.

“Law enforcement can’t work without the help of the community.” 

He also has many ideas for change within the department and change done with the community. However, he’s not quite ready to share those publicly yet. 

But Franklin hopes to be able to share his thoughts soon. Because he truly has a passion for these ideas of his.

For now, he simply wants the community to know one thing: “I am just like you.”

The Observer will be sharing videos from the interview on theuptownobserver.com tomorrow (March 28), when we will dive deeper into Franklin’s life and his contribution to the community.


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