Bad boys, bad boys
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
When they come for you?
Madison, be prepared to sing along as we welcome the blue surge. Police Chief Mike Koval announced today a round-up of up to 60 people “who have been identified and vetted as some of our most egregious offenders and gang members.”
Over the next few weeks, those thugs “are going to be separated from our midst,” Chief Koval vows. One way or another, his police will take them into custody.
In his blog today (8-10-17), Chief Koval marveled that after every serious shooting “the same names keep coming up! Sometimes they are friends of currently affected parties to the crime, sometimes they are family members, or have children in common, or have gang ties — but the overlapping spheres of connectedness are uncanny.”
While there may not be sufficient evidence to charge these individuals with specific “shots fired” calls or a unique homicide, there is ample probable cause to arrest for other offenses. The common denominator is that all are currently wanted for various crimes or have holds entered by the Department of Corrections. Many are members of street gangs and we have knowledge that these individuals have access to guns, have threatened the use of guns or are hanging out with individuals who commit crimes with guns.
While elected city leaders dither
The police dragnet comes as elected city officials dither. This week, Common Council president Marsha Rummel said she was doing some “deep thinking” about crime. This is after chairing a committee to second-guess the police while duplicating a $400,000 study contracted out to a California firm for a study to uncover the presumed police racial bias.
Ald. Amanda Hall is “steamed.” She voted to deny paying the Chief’s legal bills incurred in defending himself against a nuisance claim filed before the PFC at the behest of Progressive Dane and Brenda Konkel.
A month ago, Mayor Paul Soglin announced a bounty would be paid for guns used in crimes. Plenty of shootings since July 11, but no takers. As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise.”
Never mind; Soglin has moved on to another fad program, “Place making:” $40,000 to bring in “experts” from New York “to enhance the capacity of local groups and individuals in targeted neighborhoods to initiate, develop and implement small-scale place-making projects that build community.”
Not to forget, because it is so forgettable, the 15-point Focused Interruption initiative championed, at a budgeted cost of $400,000 this year alone, by Alds. Maurice Cheeks and Matt Phair.
Even Soglin is wise to Focused Interruption. He told alders on July 25 that gang bangers “who have no hesitation to murder, to assassinate, to kill … are not interested in employment programs or a safe community.” Ya think?
Shots fired incidents are up 75%. Just this week, a 14-year-old boy was wounded on the east side. Madison is on the path for record number of homicides. We’ve already tied the all-time record with almost five months remaining on the calendar.
Koval is acting while city elected leaders panic. “A resounding message must be sent in clear and unequivocal terms: we know who you are. Your ability to stay anonymous is no longer a luxury you can rely on and we are holding you accountable for your actions.”
UPDATE: Armed heroin dealer arrested 1700 block of Northport Drive.