Four overnight beat cops in a ‘city’ of 85,000 people?

The Divine Miss Vicki McKenna shared this intel she received from a police officer whose name has been redacted to prevent retaliation from the Mayor and alders:

Hello Vicki.

I’m listening to your show right now with [Ald.] Paul Skidmore. The information I’m going to give you is public info, and Paul’s probably aware of it but you’re listeners undoubtedly are not. I am 100% sure they will find it shocking. Having said that, I would still like to remain anonymous

Anyway, between 4 AM and 7 AM, the West Police District, a vast geographical area with 85,000 residents, is staffed by 4 patrol officers and a Sgt. The city can crunch the numbers all they want to justify these abysmal staffing numbers, but I can tell you I do not feel safe after 4 AM with these numbers, shockingly low when compared with nearby agencies (Fitchburg, Middleton, etc.). These staffing levels make proactive police work virtually impossible during the armed after-set hours. The city as a whole goes down to 18 — yes, 18 cops after 4 AM. Does anybody think these numbers are appropriate? Any kind of pressure or friendly lobbying on your part for more cops actually on patrol would be greatly appreciated.

Follow-up e-mail from the police officer:

Yes, 18 is the bare bones minimum city-wide, which is the new normal and has been for a while, and the West District has 4 beat [cop]s after 4 am. One domestic, you’re now down to 2, one major incident would be total paralysis.

I am sure the citizens would be amazed, but it’s true. The Mayor himself said “we don’t staff for the worst-case scenario,” but perhaps he needs to rethink that. You can’t run a police department like a call center. However, it seems unlikely that help is on its way with our motley crew of alders, Paul [Skidmore] notwithstanding.

I love the department and I’m proud to work with outstanding people in the West District, across all shifts. I think neighborhood officers, mental health officers and CORE officers are a great idea, but the night shift, and all patrol shifts really, are trimmed to the bone.

And a follow-up to “Subscribe to Chief Koval’s blog: what you wanna bet some alderman or the mayor his-own-self kvetches about the chief’s decision to make available to all citizens the police activity summary he once provided to city officials, exclusively?

Did we call it? We posted Monday morning the following:

We’ll believe retired Marine Corps general John Kelly is truly White House chief of staff when he fires Anthony Scaramucci.

Monday afternoon, the deed was done. And well done, it was.

Congratulations to brother Mike-boy on his retirement as chief of staff of the Wisconsin Counties Association. Gov. Tommy Thompson was on hand at the Madison Club event to give the Irish blessing, “May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back …” Also saw Joint Finance co-chairman John Nygren, former state senator Bob Welch,  former Fitchburg mayor Sean Pfaff, and former county exec Jonathan Barry. Delighted to see former Tommy aide Connie Hagen (now in private practice) again. Mark O’Connell runs a first-rate shop at Counties.

The unlettered field hands are harvesting green beans from the Blaska experimental work farm — pole Romano and Fortex — and red beets, both round and cylindrical. Singing as they work songs from the Alice Cooper catalog.

Congrats to John Nichols and the staffs of The Nation and The Progressive on the victory of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. So sign up for The Nation’s next fully guided tour in glorious Iran! (No word on whether it will include the nuclear lab.) They visited Cuba earlier this year. Is North Korea next on the itinerary? If The Nation toured Wisconsin would Hillary sign up?

Here’s what the August 21 solar eclipse will look like in our/your part of the world.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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4 Responses to Four overnight beat cops in a ‘city’ of 85,000 people?

  1. Balboa says:

    “No More Mr. Nice Guy” or “Welcome to my Nightmare”


  2. madisonexpat says:

    No money for cops on the street but a spiffy $400k study.
    What could possibly go wrong?


  3. madisonexpat says:

    The smart money says buy candles and teddy bears…. you’re gonna need them.


  4. The line in the sand has been crossed.


Comments are closed.