Tonight we will celebrate another successful graduation of 24 students from our Latino Youth Academy (LYA). Two weeks ago, we completed commencement exercises for 24 students from our Black Youth Academy (BYA). The graduation starts with a dinner for graduates and their family followed by an informal recognition ceremony. This is an outreach program that has grown each year and it is amazing how close knit the groups become by week's end. It is clear that they have bonded with both their fellow students as well as their group leaders and counselors. Staff for these academies is comprised of personnel from the Madison Police Department, Fitchburg PD, Sun Prairie PD, Middleton PD, UWPD, Dane County Sheriff's Office, Madison Fire Department, 115th Fighter Wing, college interns, and our very own Madison Police Explorer Post. Following the listing of significant calls occurring over the past 24 hours, please read more about this engagement activity in an account that was submitted by Police Officer Lore Vang (MPD-CORE: Community Outreach Resource Education) with some help from his students for the week!
From 5:30 a.m. on 08/24/2017 through 5:30 a.m. on 08/25/2017, MPD received 527 calls for service. This number does not include parking complaints or 911 misdials.
1) EAST: Armed Robbery – UPDATE. Regarding an armed robbery on 7/22 in the 1600 block of N Stoughton Rd, the two suspects sought by MPD (43 year old AAM; 26 year old WM) were arrested and are currently in custody.
2) WEST: Missing Adult – UPDATE. A subject (74 year old WM) reported missing yesterday evening was subsequently located in his bathroom suffering from a medical incident.
3) CENTRAL: Adult Arrested Person – 10:39 a.m. Officers responded to the 200 block of S. Hamilton Street (county courthouse) to attempt to locate a subject (53 year old WM) who was at the courthouse for an initial appearance. The subject is a perpetual "peeping tom" who has been targeting the 900-1200 block of E. Mifflin, Johnson and Dayton Streets. The subject was located and arrested for additional charges of burglary, 3 counts of invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct. The subject was conveyed to a local hospital after he complained of chest pains. He will be transported to jail once a medical clearance is provided.
4) NORTH: Juvenile Complaint – 3:47 p.m. Officers responded to Kennedy Heights reference a juvenile (16 year old AAF) who had a knife and was suicidal. When police arrived, the juvenile did not have the knife on her. She was conveyed to a local hospital. Journey Mental Health and Child Protective Services plugged in. The juvenile was eventually released to the care of her father.
5) WEST: Assist Madison Fire – 6:20 p.m. Officers were called to assist Madison Fire with a vehicle fire on the shoulder of the Beltline near Whitney Way. MPD helped with traffic control while MFD extinguished the fire. Various callers reported seeing three male subjects leaving the area of the vehicle and heading westbound on foot on the Beltline. Investigation continuing.
6) WEST: Weapons Offense-Person w/Gun – 7:25 p.m. Officers were dispatched to University Ave and N. Segoe Road reference a subject pointing a gun at the complainant. The complainant advised he accidently cut the suspect off while driving. After this occurred, the suspect (AAM in his 20's) pointed a gun at him. Investigation continuing by Shorewood Hills Police Department as it was determined that the incident originally occurred in their jurisdiction.
7) SOUTH: Disturbance – 7:25 p.m. Officers were called to a Madison Metro bus in the area of Landmark Place and the Beltline for a complaint of a suspect (approximately 68 year old WM) who boarded the bus and began yelling racial slurs. The suspect then got into a fight with an AAM passenger. Investigation continuing.
8) CENTRAL: OMVWI – 2:18 a.m. Numerous callers reported a vehicle that struck numerous parked cars in the 300 block of N Hancock St and left the scene. The suspect vehicle was eventually located from the descriptions provided by callers and the driver (male) was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Guest Post Authored by Officer Lore Vang and this year's Latino Youth Academy participants: Christopher, Audriana, Mauriel, Xavier, Francisco, Janelly, Taylor, Francisco, Andy, Isabella, Christian, Bani, Karen, Harnish, Ashley, Victoria, Savian, Luan, Guillermo, Francisco, Brian, Lindsay, Stephanie and Delia
Late every summer The Madison Police Department offers Youth Academies for students entering the 8th grade. While these academies are geared towards youth of color, they are all inclusive. The Black Youth Academy was held this summer from August 7 to August 11, and the Latino Youth Academy runs from August 21 to August 25. The Youth Academies are great for the middle school students, providing ample opportunity to build strong, positive, relationships with police officers, while giving the youth a view at the intricacies of a profession in policing. Additionally, they get to meet other youth in the community that share similar interests and backgrounds.
For me, the Youth Academies have given me a chance to get to know the students at a very deep and personal level. Not only do I observe them challenge themselves in ways they have never experienced, but I get the unique opportunity to learn about their favorite subjects in schools, favorite songs, and their families. As a police officer, this goes a long way for me. It makes my difficult career well worth it knowing that I am in a profession that is contributing to the preservation of such smart, ambitious and determined youth. Though many people may simply view the Youth Academies as opportunities for the Madison Police Department to give back to the community, I firmly believe the individual officers who are involved in the academies are the ones who benefit the most.
On Wednesday, August 23, I spoke with twenty-four of the participants in the Latino Youth Academy. I told them that Chief Koval had given them the opportunity to take part in writing his blog. With nervous grins and an innocent bravery, each student stepped up to the challenge.
During the week of the academy, the students learn, observe and train within their platoon. Their platoons are pre-determined groups of five to six students that they get to know very well. I assigned a guiding question to each platoon, encouraging them to use this blog entry to communicate with their community about what they have been learning at the Youth Academy. Moreover, I informed them that this was their chance to reveal to the community that they are an important part of the larger city population and are the future of the city. The students were enthusiastic about utilizing the blog to address the blog-readers. I am grateful for these wonderful students and their willingness to assist Chief Koval with his blog. The following passages are their accounts:
Why were you interested in being part of the Latino Youth Academy?
"The reasons why we were interested in being a part of the Latino Youth Academy were different, ranging from interests in a law enforcement career, learning how to help people, finding out what police work entails, and because our parents wanted us to participate Being part of the Latino Youth Academy has given us the opportunity to learn several topics like CPR, communication, interacting with people, leadership, tactics, and more."
What has been your favorite thing about the Latino Youth Academy?
"Our favorite things about the Latino Youth Academy include the hands-on experiences in police work, fire department work, and the military. These are opportunities to do and see things that others do not receive. We gain a perspective of police officers and see that they have many rules and policies that they follow. Most importantly, it is great to see all of the different tasks of police officers while meeting new people, including other kids and officers who are also Latino. We wish they had more programs like this in order to reach out to more kids."
What is something new that you learned about police officers?
"Communication is one of the most important things that officers can do in order to do their job safely. Police also follow certain rules when using force, including dialogue, control tactics, defense tactics, and deadly force. Police don't always have to give tickets. They can give warnings and educate. In policing, teamwork happens more than we thought. Also, a police horse can do the same amount of work as ten police officers."
What do you think are the most important skills to have as a police officer?
"We feel the most important skills to have as a police officer are dialogue, trust, respect, resourceful, and teamwork. It's important for a police officer to have dialogue because the officer needs to be able to communicate with people. An officer needs to have trust because they need to rely on the people around them. An officer needs to respect others and feel respected. An officer needs to be resourceful because they have to have the right tools for the job. The most important is teamwork because sometimes you can't do things by yourself and you can use help."
Would you recommend participating in the Latino Youth Academy to your friends or siblings? Why?
"Yes, because it is a lot of fun. It is great to bond with the community officers. You learn a lot about different careers and opportunities. You also learn about different aspects of police besides arresting people. Lastly, you get to make new friends."