Without smashing windows!
Madison city government is beginning to hear from an unusual source — everyday citizens, as opposed to the social justice warriors who typically F-bomb their “demands” to
- defund the police,
- strip them of their tools,
- drag them before an anti-police tribunal, and
- portray them as pigs on boarded-up store windows.
As if police were the problem. West side Madison police Captain Tim Patton told Orchard Ridge neighborhood president Mike Thomsen that shots fired incidents are up 76% through September compared to 2019. Only this Monday 10-19-20, three shots were fired from a high-velocity handgun at the intersection of Russett Road and Cameron Drive.
“These calls and follow up investigations tie up large number of personnel for extended periods of time resulting in more time spent on priority calls and thereby significant delays or inability to respond to other call types,” Captain Patton said. One indicator: the panhandlers — two at a time — are back on the intersection of Whitney Way and Odana Road, even though that practice was banned a couple years ago.
Fed-up neighbors have formed a public action safety team, thanks to the leadership of Bonnie Roe of the Midvale Heights neighborhood. They announced:
This is a brand new group, sprung into being by the rising crime, and especially violent crime, in our neighborhoods. If you are broken- hearted over reading news reports of young children and young adults dying violently in our community, afraid from bullets breaking your windows or lodging in your house or car, tired of wondering whether you’re hearing gunshots or fireworks, hesitant to go on vacation for fear of what you will or won’t come home to, weary of sleeping with lights on, checking window and doors, locking your purse in your trunk to pump gas and/or hearing squealing tires and racing cars and motorcycles at all hours of the day and night, this group might be for you. …
This group will absolutely not be an armed vigilante group to patrol in cooperation with the police. Nor a group that blocks traffic, marches through our streets, breaks windows, burns things or protests outside of homes. That won’t be happening under this group.
Look for it on the the NextDoor social media site.
Wednesday 10-21-20 at 6:30 p.m., westside alders Zachary Henak, Barbara Harrington-McKinney, Paul Skidmore, and Christian Albouras are holding an on-line Zoom meeting on funding the police with acting police chief Vic Wahl and Mayor Satya. (More here.) Register for the meeting here.
⇒ See also Captain Patton’s blog on the police budget here.
Police budget confusion
Initial news accounts reported that Mayor Satya proposed increasing the police budget by 3.2%. But that was driven up by a 3.75% pay increase scheduled to kick in next year totaling $3.825 million. It was negotiated by the police officers union and Mayor Paul Soglin (which makes one wonder how the MPPOA could have endorsed Satya Rhodes Conway, instead).
The reality is that the budget as presented cuts police officers slightly, from 483 to 479. The mayor herself claims her budget cuts almost $2 million from the police department’s General Fund — “the largest expenditure cut to the police budget in the last 10 years or more.” Meanwhile, Satya boasts that she is not cutting “social programs.”
Blaska’s Bottom Line: You got to know Progressive Dane alders will be proposing even deeper cuts. Time for a little blowback from taxpayers. E-mail your alders!