In January I took over as Captain of the West District, as part of the Department's annual assignment process. I've been with the Madison Police Department for 20 years, and have previously worked in the West District as a sergeant and as a lieutenant. I'm very excited to take on the challenge of leading the district, and look forward to working with the community to keep the West District a great place to live.
The West District is the largest of the Madison Police Department's five districts by just about any measure (geographic size, population, workload, etc.). In fact, if the West District was a city, it would be the fifth largest City in the state of Wisconsin (by population). Fortunately, we have an outstanding group of men and women working out of the West District, and I'm confident in our ability to address any challenges we face this year.
One of my goals this year is to improve communication between the public and the Department. We'll continue to utilize a variety of means to reach out to the community, and I hope that citizens will contact us with concerns, questions and feedback. Many police departments are utilizing social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to communicate, and we will continue to explore ways to expand our use of social media as a means of communication. We also have liaison officers assigned to every neighborhood association in the district, as well as full-time neighborhood officers assigned to three neighborhoods.
One internal challenge we're facing this year is the size of the West District Station. When the building opened (more than ten years ago) 58 employees worked out of it; this year, 84 employees will work out of the West District. So, while we have been fortunate to realize increased staffing over the last decade, the district station has not kept pace. Other MPD facilities face similar situations, and we are exploring long-term solutions.
We'll use this newsletter throughout the year to keep you apprised of district issues and to share some notable incidents or events with you. This newsletter will include a number of introductions of other personnel also new to the district in 2012. Please feel free to contact any district officer, supervisor or commander with any questions, concerns of feedback.