UPDATE from Madison Police Chief Mike Koval:
When the news cycle seems to be dominated by discussions of the appropriateness of “taking a knee,” (As a constitutional officer of the court, I pledged to protect and defend constitutional rights and freedoms so the recent diatribes from all directions on this issue is moot; although I also have the prerogative of expressing my views–off duty–and have canceled my all-access subscription to viewing NFL games), tonight will provide many of my sisters and brothers in uniform an opportunity to “stand up” for something. For tonight, there will be a short vigil taking place up at the Law Enforcement Memorial (located at the corner of N. Pinckney and E. Mifflin). Starting at 5pm, a ceremony will be held that marks the restoration of the Memorial which was desecrated with paint a number of weeks ago.
The Law Enforcement Memorial bears the name of those selfless servant leaders who paid the ultimate sacrifice. In a time when we are bombarded with a celebrity culture that accords and rewards surreal figures who are self-absorbed with advancing the interests of “me, myself, and I,” it is only fitting that we re-boot and take a moment to draw upon those who were willing to don a bullet-proof vest and stand in harms way in defense of a complete stranger.
I am indebted to the grass roots activism that seized upon this vigil as an opportunity to affirm values that many of us have spent our entire professional lives trying to live. In an era where there is a paucity of “role models” for our kids to look up to, one need only look as far as those who are still laboring on the front lines of the military and protective services (Police/Fire/EMT’s) as a surety that some things have withstood and will endure the test of time for character and commitment!