Madison, Wi. Police Department under siege by council

The City Council can’t imagine why the Chief of Police is so defensive over his Department, yet while he or his officers have done nothing wrong, the City Council acts as if and treats him as though they are contemptable.

Apparently there is a big problem with the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department that nobody wants to admit exists. The problem is that City Officials who have no money for programs for citizens, to fund city essentials, to help rid the city of crime, to ensure public safety do in fact have $400,000.00 to study if the Police Force is ‘bias’. 

Madison Wisconsin has had many problems in the past few months including shootings and gang activity. While they list themselves on CrimeReports and show themselves to be an extremely progressive department the City Council appears to be unhappy because there is a contingency of constituents who protest about Officers who appear to be ‘biased’.

The Chief Of Police Mike Koval states that these protesters are a very small but highly vocal percentage of the population in Madison. The Chief defends his officers and department very articulately on a blog within the Police Departments website.

Apparently one of his latest posts has gotten quite a bit of attention from the City Council (and attracted our attention as well) and showed to a great extent what the problem is.

While the Chief has been asking for more manpower, he has recently been told that he may be experiencing cuts in manpower due to budget shortfalls. Yet the council has found $400,00.00 for an independent study of his department to decide if there is cultural or racial biased components within the department’s ranks.

As the Chief points out, he has no problem with being viewed under a microscope and in his words: “”Bring it on.  We have nothing to hide and much to brag about.”  We will accept an independent review of the way we do business.  I am confident that our “report card” will demonstrate the myriad of good things that are taking place by great employees.”

He does have a problem with the timing of the study and where the money is coming from when the council stated that they have no money to pay other bills or provide for other items such as “When not-for-profits and community leaders and activists are begging and bemoaning funding for engagement initiatives that are urgently needed, particularly as we head into summer months with youth out of schools and in dire need of constructive options, the City is marching forward demanding a total of $400,000 to get a report card on MPD”

Alderman Mark Clear responds to a blog post that sounds as if he has always supported the Police Department. He states he is “100% in support of the Madison Police Department and is in awe of the job that the men and women do every day” He goes on to say that he “hopes that his actions over 9 years have demonstrated that.”

Yet the man has never once attended a Police function that actually supports the Police Department as the Chief points out later.

He was “shocked to learn how little this council cares about the Madison Police Department and how much time this council spends bashing the Madison Police Department” He goes on to give an apology that he was pained that he did not know he was not supportive of the Police Department. Yet, in just moments he justifies his actions in supporting a bill to investigate the Officers in the Department of bias and the like to satisfy the small contingency of constituents as only a politician can.

He then goes onto state why he left a meeting because of the Chiefs comments and that he was upset that the Chief made comments public regarding the resolution. That nobody knew about it until the Chief made it public.

I only get the feeling that the council was attempting to hide the fact that they had some $400,000.00 to spend on this witch hunt hoping to find something to tag on the Police Department along the line without alerting the citizens that they were in fact spending the money in such a manner.

The Chief stated in his blog post that his department has:

  • Met and exceeded the majority of those recommendations offered to local agencies by the guidelines enunciated by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
  • No sustained civil rights violations with the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Been called on a weekly basis and asked about how we recruit such a well-educated, diverse workforce
  • Been asked about our trainings in cultural competency, unconscious bias, crisis intervention and mental health initiatives.
  • Been recognized by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) as a shining light of progressive community based policing

To this Alderman Clear stated that he would have gone to “An honoring resolution for all the great staff” “like we do on Arbor week”

Yet anyone who is so defensive of his department is worthy of scrutiny according to Alderman Clear.

The Chief rightly points out much later in one portion of his address to the council it is not the resolutions, it is the silence and the lack of support in instances like Police week that are hurting the Officers morale. He states: “On the same week that you used the annual submission of the MPD overtime report to open the door to MPD bashing, not one of you said or did anything to recognize our officers during local police week activities!  No resolutions, no proclamations, not a word.  I thought that I had your attention last year when your silence was deafening . . .apparently not.”

I have uploaded the first three videos of the Council meeting for WBL viewers to see for themselves how well spoken and articulate the Chief was during the meeting. At no time did I see him become loud, obnoxious or in any way threatening.

However Alderman Samba Baldeh said “this is the first time (in the year he has been an Alderman and attending meetings) I have seen the Police Chief behave in a way that in my opinion. I’m feeling not kind of comfortable with him sitting behind me with a gun. I’m a black man, and I have a lot of experience with the Madison Police Department.”

Alderman Samba Baldeh
Alderman Samba Baldeh

He goes on to talk about the council and discusses the politics and Mayor getting some laughs. Then he says of the Police Chief he “I have the utmost respect for the Police chief, I don’t know him that much but when I see him he speaks with the authority and someone who is interested in fixing the problems of the city … But the behavior of the Chief tonight! Honestly, is unimaginable. I was totally afraid for him to be behind me with a gun. I have said to some of my colleagues if he is to be .. if I have to ask him some questions, then we better ask him to hand over the gun until we are done. ”

Alderman Baldeh says something very important and crucial to the conversation; he says “there is no problem within the community. It is people like us (he motions his hands around the council chambers inclusive) people in authority who instigate this kind of stuff. In my opinion. When I first saw this story about giving more money to Police studies my first instinct is no, because nothing is going to come out of it. No matter how much study nothing is going to come out of it. ”

But he decided in the end to vote for it because of the behavior of the Police chief in the end he states.

I honestly ask anyone to watch the videos that preceded Alderman Baldeh and view the Chief of Police Mike Koval’s behavior. I see no reason for the statements that Alderman Baldeh made nor can I find any fault with what the Chief did. Perhaps there are other videos of the council meeting that were not made public however it seems unlikely.

Chief of Police Mike Koval
Chief of Police Mike Koval

Indeed there is a problem in Madison, Wisconsin but the problem is not with the Police Department itself. The problem appears to be that the City Council is more interested in appeasing a small but very vocal group of highly organized people who want to scapegoat the Police for racism. The racism is not on the part of the officers though, the racism exists in the mind of people who are biased  in regard to the color BLUE and see only one thing “The Enemy”. Sadly the Council is listening to this small but vocal element because they are attached to their positions in city government.

The Council is not working toward the betterment of the City, nor is the small but vocal group working toward making anyone safer.

As it was recently posted in the Wisconsin State Journal:

I am having a hard time rationalizing the Black Lives Matter movement when it only seems interested in black lives mattering when a white person is involved.

Why don’t black lives matter when black people are killing or shooting each other all over Madison? Why doesn’t Black Lives Matter express its anger over the taking of black lives by blacks?

It doesn’t make sense that some black lives appear to matter, but some do not. Neither the movement nor the blacks with information will help put an end to all this senseless killing.

Why does it have to involve a white person to spur a protest or pressure?

— Amanda Meier, Verona

Chief Koval of the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department deserves the support of the City’s citizens. He also deserves the support of those who Back The Blue. Send him a note and let him know you support him and the officers who serve Madison.

The Facebook post linking to his blog post was here listed as “Central District Blotter

 

While Milo Yiannopoulos may not make any appearances at Madison Area Technical College Some people might well listen to what he has to say before laying blame at the feet of the Police for violence in the community.

It’s a very short video and well worth the watch considering the amount of statistics that he imparts.

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