Did the worm just turn? Is November 14, 2017 the watershed? After 2½ years, is this the day Madison city government switched from race-baiting and cop-bashing to judging the person by his actions rather than by the color of their skin?
Yes it is. The Madison Common Council voted 14-6 very early this morning in favor of adding $400,000 to the $350,000 allocated in the mayor’s proposed budget in order to fund, at the very least, seven additional police officers and two squad cars even if the city is not awarded a federal grant; 15 if the city is awarded the federal COPS grant.
The Council beat back a motion (recounted here) that would have zeroed out any money for more police and another that would have delayed action. The roll call approving Ald. Skidmore’s Amendment #9 for more police was:
Eskrich, Harrington, King, Martin, Palm, Phair, Skidmore, Verveer, Wood, Zellers, Ahrens, Bidar-Sielaff, Cheeks, Clear — 14
NO: Hall, DeMarb, Kemble, Rummel, Baldeh, Carter — 6
There are at least five heroes in this endeavor: Paula and Steve Fitzsimmons have promoted the police against fierce opposition, particular with Paula’s Support The Police website, which generated an avalanche of e-mails to city officials. Ald. Paul Skidmore has stood like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike against the flood. It was his marshaling of facts and hard work that got key signatories onto his Budget Amendment #9 for more police. Police Chief Mike Koval demonstrated the need, especially by making available his daily police blotter report. And Our
Miss (strike that, Mrs.) Vicki McKenna for opening the air waves to those of us speaking for a civil society.
You should catch Steve and Paula’s testimony, check out the podcast here. Your intrepid blogger gives What For at 1:15:43.
‘Police were literally Nazis’
But for chills and thrills, check out a young lady named Allison at 30:54. Her little child is endearing but her testimony is chilling for its educated ignorance. Has Allison no sympathy for the parents digging bullets out of the wall above their baby’s crib? This is no hyperbole. It is Madison reality. We excerpt her remarks thusly:
Madison … is a Progressive haven … When BLM started, … I wish more white people had paid attention. … It’s not a coincidence we have the worst racial disparities in the entire country, it is because of what we are doing.… Who makes these [police] standards? Is it people locked in jail? Probably not. Is it wealthy white men? Probably. …
Police came from slave patrols and police came from strike breakers and that is what they were created to do. … The police literally were the Nazis. … They’ve been reformed? But on what planet would you want to reform the Nazis? … The last speaker [Paula Fitzsimmons] told us how dangerous being a police officer is but being a black man is more dangerous. … If you choose to put yourself on the line, then that is the choice you have made. … Yeah, there’s been some unfortunate incidents lately but …
What is surprising is that the cop-bashing Royko-Maurers did not speak; they only registered in opposition to the police. Nor did Dr. Gobbledygook. No did anyone from Young and Foolish or Freedom Inc. No “Power to the People” rally in front of the City County Building. Did they know they were beaten?
Ald. Kemble tried to use as a delaying tactic the $400,000 police practices study being conducted by a Berkeley, California boutique. “This report will answer tough questions … those answers may recommend a completely different model for our police department.”
Vote of confidence for the police
But Ald. Mark Clear, whom this blogge has criticized before, countered: “I can’t imagine anything in the OIR report that is going to say you should turn down the COPS grant.”
Another alder heavily criticized at this venue, Dave Ahrens, referenced the tsunami of citizen clamor for more police prompted by Paula’s website: “The case for additional officers has been made clearly by the department and by the people I represent.”
A special shout-out to Ald. Steve King. Here is an abbreviated transcript of his remarks during the marathon meeting:
This is the hill I am dying on, it is budget amendment #9. There is no way in hell I could write in my [constituent] message that I did not support a fully funded COPS grant after the feedback, flak, commentary, discussions with the police themselves — there’s no way I’m doing that. … I don’t even want to go to my house if I didn’t support Amendment #9. There’s a demonstrated need. … Regardless of what the OIR report says, we are going to need more police officers.
The Madison Common Council’s budget meeting concluded at 2:30 a.m. 11-14-2017.
Paula Fitzsimmons [CORRECTION] Ald. Skidmore tells the Policy Werkes:
Chief Koval looked both exhausted and exhilarated as he left the chambers. There were huge smiles on both his face and that of Chief Williams as well. He thanked a number of alders as he left, and he shook my hand as I left. He called me twice — once on the way home, once when I was getting into bed. He told me how much this means to his officers and command staff. This group effort has lit a spark of hope and joy in the Department. He said that this was received as a vote of confidence in the Department, and that the mood at the office today was very positive. This also sent a powerful message to the Mayor — a message that he heeded.
Now we wait to see if we get a grant, and plan our next effort.