Interim Chief Gaber's Blog

Madison Should Take Pride in its Police

July 5, 2013 11:43 AM

Each day, the men and women of the Madison Police Department can be seen responding to traffic crashes, assisting citizens, processing records, and performing other important tasks. Through my 29 years with the Madison Police Department, I continue to take pride in the commitment of the employees of this Department carrying out our Core Values in their daily interactions. I have complete confidence in all the employees at the Madison Police Department.

The Core Values of the Madison Police Department are evident in the work we perform. These Core Values define who were are and what we try to achieve each day. Although these are difficult times, our Core Values are cornerstones to the way this department functions and seeks continuous improvement.

As a community, we should be proud of the world-renowned reputation the Madison Police Department has earned. We have earned this reputation through our continuous commitment to education, diversity, and sensitivity. Some of the examples to be proud of include the fact that our Police Officers receive hundreds of hours of training beyond what the State of Wisconsin requires, the diversity in each new recruit class, and our internal training each employee receives. The national average for women in a police force is about 12%, and we are proud to almost triple this number and have 34% female officers. Equally important is the fact that we value diversity. Our workforce is more diverse, statistically, than what is reflected in our community. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), an internationally acclaimed Washington think-tank, has routinely recognized the Madison Police Department as among the most progressive and forward-thinking law enforcement agencies in the world. Our employees have partnered with UW-Madison professors in studies, Project Innocence, and in crafting "unconscious bias" training. Several of our employees have put together a diversity training which is offered state-wide, titled "Judgment Under the RADAR". Recently, the Madison Police Department was recognized by the Bureau of Justice Assistance as one of only six law enforcement agencies in the nation viewed as having a "best practice" way of policing and handling mental health related issues in the community. Finally, all new officers visit a Wisconsin prison to see firsthand the wide-reaching effects of exercising the arrest powers granted to them. This is a novel experience that helps officers understand the totality of arrest decisions.

From the beginning of the application process, through the oral interview, Chief's interview, and psychological interview, special attention is paid to the ethics of the applicant. Aside from the tactical training an officer receives, there is also instruction in professional communication, diversity, and ethics, to name a few. During the entirety of an employee's tenure at the Madison Police Department, training and experiences consistently address our commitment towards our Core Values.

I proudly stand behind the men and women of the Madison Police Department and feel that our long history of professionalism and integrity have built the trust that we have earned between ourselves and the citizens of Madison, but understand that our efforts to maintain trust is a continuous process. Thank you to the community and the employees of the Madison Police Department for continuing to engage in this trust-building on a daily basis.

Posted by: Chief Wray

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