Police Chief Mike Koval today says there is NO WAY he will agree to contract with the Madison school district after the school board tossed in yet another poison pill Monday night (12-17-18).
Board of Education member T.J. Mertz added an amendment — agreed to by the other five voting members — that the school district “may request MPD to assign a replacement school resource officer. MPD agrees to meet with MMSD to review and meet to discuss; if after meeting and discussion if MMSD continues to request a replacement SRO that request shall be granted.”
Chief Koval put out this statement late this morning:
Imagine my surprise when, this morning, I read in the paper that MMSD had agreed to continue the SRO (School Resource Officer) program, but only with amended language to the contract that City, MPD and MMSD teams had already agreed to.
We had never agreed (nor will I ever agree) to language regarding the ability to remove an officer for “cause.” The School District floated this language out last week and it was made unequivocally clear that I would not agree to this language.
Wisconsin Statute 62.13 (3m) outlines the seven (7) standards for “just causes” that must occur before a police officer is suspended, reduced in rank or terminated—the City cannot discipline an officer without complying with these statutory requirements. State law provides that review and oversight of this process rests with the Police and Fire Commission (PFC). Further, the contract between the City and the Madison Professional Police Officers Association (MPPOA) outlines the parameters of the SRO position and this cannot be negotiated away with a separate MMSD contract.
So needless to say, we DO NOT have a contract with MMSD for the SRO’s. I can only assume that MMSD will present proposed language changes to me shortly, but again, I will reiterate that the processes for disciplining or assigning officers are governed by state law and labor contract, and these rights cannot be bargained away in an agreement with a third party. We have always worked cooperatively with MMSD to select our resource officers and to address any areas of improvement.
However, the law does not permit us to pre-determine discipline through the contract language that was suggested.
Frankly, it is time for the School Board to end this 18 month saga and just ratify the terms of the contract that were agreed upon. I believe that I am speaking for more than just a few folks when I say that the future of MMSD is tied to the perceptions and the realities of school safety — time to act and get this done without further debates, committees, and studies!
Chief Koval will discuss with Vicki McKenna at 5:15 this afternoon on 1310 AM. Blaska will follow at 5:35 p.m.
See how the Madison school board betrays its cop hate.