Speak out for justice & safety Wedn. October 4

Will it be as historic and game-changing as Ald. Thuy Pham-Remmele’s conclave at St. Maria Goretti 10 years ago?

WHAT: Ald. Paul Skidmore is hosting a public safety listening session for all west siders

WHEN: 6 pm to 9 pm Wednesday, October 4

WHERE: City Center West conference center, 525 Junction Road, Madison. 

Police Chief Mike Koval and his westside command staff will be front and center. Topics: more police, body cameras, surveillance equipment, neighborhood policing in troubled neighborhoods.

Ald. Skidmore notes that the body camera pilot project barely survived Monday night’s Finance Committee vote.  pilot project in the budget. The vote was 4-3 (Aye: Skidmore, Verveer, McKinney, Soglin. No: Rummel, Eskrich, Wood). “I expect that someone will try to take this out of the budget at the Council budget meeting,” Paul tells us.

Finance also unanimously approved installing up to 18 fixed surveillance cameras on utility poles in key locations.

Thuy’s listening session on August 8, 2007 brought 700 citizens together to tell then-mayor Dave Cieslewicz, loud and clear, to forget about his fixation on trolleys and pay attention to increasing crime. Police Chief Noble Wray was there to hear it all. He adroitly requested — and got — 30 more officers. Wray placed a blue blanket on Meadowood and it helped for a time but the drug-fueled forces of disorder have grown here and in other parts of the city.

Thuy said then:

Madison must send a strong message that we don’t tolerate bad behaviors and that criminals will face consequences. … I’m calling for zero tolerance for all crime, be it petty or severe. We must take care of the small violations so they won’t escalate into big time problems.

Hard to believe that was 10 years ago. Still a sound foundation for an overall, wide-ranging policy.

Paul Soglin is a better politician than Mayor Dave; he will steer clear of next Wednesday’s event. But you can be sure he’ll have people in the auditorium to report back to him. Politicians choose their audiences. A large turnout will be difficult to ignore.

Question: Will Alders Matt Phair and Mo Cheeks be shows or no-shows? They represent (theoretically, at least) troubled areas on the southwest side of the city.

For extra credit: Paula Fitzsimmons details why Madison needs more police.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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