The indentured servants got an extra dollop of gruel in their pitiful bowls this morning. The Squire of the Stately Manor is feeling generous, flushed with success in helping persuade our recalcitrant Common Council to hire 8 more police officers.
Eight in a force of over 450. When an independent staffing analysis proposed 23. A drib of a drab but it took a full-court press, a campaign worthy of General Patton involving hundreds of citizens to capture this small bridge. We inundated the council with e-mails and blog posts, particularly from Paula Fitzsimmons’ Police Support site. And Ald. Paul Skidmore’s tireless work in the trenches. We testified at committee meetings and council sessions. We issued calls to arms over Vicki McKenna’s generous airwaves. We turned aside the anti-cop narrative that has dominated Madison these last two years.
The Council voted 17-2 early this morning — the two outliers being Marsha Rummel, who (probably fairly) represents Willy Street, and Rebecca Kemble, who misrepresents her far northeast district. Both are Progressive Dane, the political party led by reflexive cop-hater Brenda Konkel.
That vote was closer than it looks. The measure was a budget amendment and therefore needed 15 votes of the 19 present. Four alders — Baldeh, DeMarb, Carter, and Hall — switched to YES votes at last night’s meeting from the NO votes they cast (along with Rummel and Kemble) on the annual budget on November 14. (That vote was to apply for a federal grant that was ultimately denied.)
For all that effort, the immediate gain was small — eight more police. But the real victory is in showing the city government that there are real people out there in the neighborhoods. Voters. That the Royko-Mauers, Dr. Gobbledygooks, M. Adams of the local Black Lives Matter affiliate, the Derail the Jail shouters, and the sociology department socialists may be noisy but they are the minority. 17 to 2.
Luke of the Socialist Alternative and Derail the Jail was typical: “The problem is over-policing. When police are targeting homeless people or mentally ill people or people of color, that is not public safety. … They’re waging a one-sided war against Madisonians.”
I whispered to the lady next to me, Sue Pastor, “Sociology major.” She responded, referring to herself, “Sociology professor.”
Sue is also a neighborhood leader on the east side. Professor Paster actually criticized police for showing up at the door of someone who reported a crime.
“Ald Baldeh may recall a ranting call from me, “I don’t want to pay for that.” Can we really provide that kind of personal service to people who are worried about their safety?”
So much for community policing. Some people will always be anti-cop no matter what you do. Sue Pastor is also Progressive Dane.
The video is fun watching. Your humble Squire spoke at 2:31:10 into this podcast. But special credit goes to Mayor Paul Soglin. He was fabulous. We’ll post his remarks later today.