Recently I blogged about my ongoing concerns over recruitment and retention issues at MPD. The overwhelming majority of feedback was empathetic and supportive of the efforts we are taking to work diligently in attracting AND keeping the very best and brightest to our work force. There was pushback from some who believed that my supposition was overstated and designed to underscore my persistent pleas for more cops.
I belong to the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a national group that is committed to the study and improvement of all things "policing." I have attached a brief excerpt which was clipped from the Washington Post which serves to demonstrate that the issues that I identified for MPD are not unique or exaggerated. . .it is a phenomenon that is occurring across the nation and this is further validation that the necessity for acknowledging the good works and difficult challenges facing cops these days is every bit as important as providing substantive criticism and calls for reform. No one will dispute the need for rooting out bad cops and evaluating outcomes where the police must "own" our complicity and play a role in achieving systems improvements; but let's also be more intentional in noting the myriad of ways that cops are making a positive impact in the lives of others. Last time I checked, we are still the only agency that works 24/7 in handling not only crime-related matters but also inherit front line mental health interventions, AODA (including heroin) evaluations and care provisions, emergency responses to all things manmade and caused by nature, as well as fielding a host of civil disputes and quality-of-life incidents which incorporate everything imaginable that can't (or won't) be handled after 5pm in most communities. . .!
Washington Post: Who wants to be a police officer? Job applications plummet at most U.S. departments
Across the country, interest in becoming a police officer is down dramatically. In Nashville, job applications dropped from 4,700 in 2010 to 1,900 last year. In Seattle, applications have declined by nearly 50 percent, in a department where the starting salary is $79,000. Even the FBI saw a sharp drop, from 21,000 applications per year to 13,000 last year, before a new marketing campaign brought an upswing. And retaining officers once they've joined is getting harder too. In a PERF survey of nearly 400 police departments about voluntary resignations, 29 percent of those who left their police job voluntarily had been on the force less than a year, and another 40 percent had been on the job less than five years. At a PERF gathering of police chiefs and commanders from across the country in Washington Tuesday, many attributed their declining numbers to a diminished perception of police in the years after the shooting and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and an increase in public and media scrutiny of police made possible by technology and social media.
The information contained in my blog is derived from notes provided by MPD Officers-In-Charge (OIC) at the end of their shifts. Most narratives represent early and preliminary information that was gathered by an OIC from those in the field who were actively working cases. The OIC is sharing what they were being told, in the moment. In many instances, facts and circumstances, even the type of crime listed, can change as officers, detectives and investigators continue their work.
From 6:00 a.m. on 12/04/2018 through 6:00 a.m. on 12/05/2018, MPD received 411 calls for service. This number does not include parking complaints or 911 misdials. For purposes of clarification, the following abbreviations are short-hand for race designations: W=White, AA=African American, NA=Native American, H=Hispanic, ME=Middle Eastern, A=Asian, MR=Mixed Race, U=Unknown. MPD shifts are staggered as follows: 1st detail=7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 2nd detail=12 p.m. to 8 p.m., 3rd detail=3 p.m. to 11 p.m., 4th detail=8 p.m. to 4 a.m., 5th detail=11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
To further break down the 411 calls for service for the past 24-hours this is how the calls came in per district: Central (99), East (81), Midtown (68), North (65), South (36), West (44), and Other (18). Other=these are calls for service that either do not have a sector listed or the sector is not in the City. For example, if one of our officers assists another law enforcement agency, their sector is not listed in our districts so therefore it is listed under "other".
1) MIDTOWN: Death Investigation – 6:47 a.m. Officers responded to a residence regarding a deceased subject (60-year-old WM). Initial cause of death appears to be that the decedent suffered a medical event. Medical Examiner's office responded. Investigation continuing.
2) CENTRAL: Check Person – 9:03 a.m. Officers responded to the 800 block of E. Washington Ave to check the welfare of a subject/suspect (32-year-old WF). Multiple callers reported to dispatch that the suspect was walking in and out of traffic talking to herself. It was also reported that the suspect entered the Capitol and broke a mirror. The suspect was located and contacted. She was taken into protective custody due to her behaviors. The suspect resisted arrest and spit at an officer. The suspect was conveyed to a local hospital for an evaluation. Probable cause was developed to arrest the suspect for resisting and discharge of bodily fluids on a public safety worker. The officer experienced a significant exposure and is going through the medical protocols. Investigation continuing.
3) MIDTOWN: Check Person – 12:12 p.m. Officers checked various areas for a wanted subject/suspect (62-year-old WM). The suspect was located downtown and taken into custody on a pending warrant.
4) EAST: Stolen Auto – 12:16 p.m. Officers responded to an east side residence for a report of a stolen vehicle. The suspect (23-year-old WM) stole his grandfather's vehicle. The suspect was located and arrested for operating a motor vehicle without consent (OMVWOC). The vehicle was returned to the registered owner/grandfather.
5) WEST: Theft – 12:59 p.m. Officers responded to Woodman's on S. Gammon Rd for a report of a wanted subject/suspect (57-year-old AAM) being on scene. The suspect took off with a bucket of money (Salvation Army red bucket). The suspect was located and arrested for theft, retail theft and an outstanding warrant.
6) WEST: Information/Armed Robbery – 1:01 p.m. Officers were in the Waterleaf Apartment complex area when they were stopped by a victim (22-year-old AAM) who reported he had just been "jumped" by six suspects and "pistol whipped." The suspect with the gun was described as an AAM. The victim was conveyed to a local hospital for an evaluation/treatment. Investigation continuing.
7) EAST: Retail Theft – 3:22 p.m. Officers responded to Shopko on Zeier Rd for a retail theft. The suspect (39-year-old WM) was contacted and arrested for retail theft (2 counts) and bail jumping (3 counts). The merchandise was recovered.
8) MIDTOWN: Mental Health Conveyance – 4:27 p.m. Officers responded to Britta Drive reference a subject (38-year-old AAF) having a "manic episode" and armed with a hammer. The subject was taken into protective custody and conveyed to a local hospital for an evaluation. Journey Mental Health plugged in. After being medically cleared the subject was conveyed to Winnebago on a Chapter 51 (emergency detention) return. While taking the subject into custody, she kicked an officer.
9) MIDTOWN: Death Investigation – 5:35 p.m. Officers responded to a residence regarding a deceased subject (50-year-old WM). The decedent had health issues and had an active DNR on file. Nothing suspicious on scene.
10) WEST: Check Person – 6:57 p.m. Officers responded to a west side residence for a report of a missing adult (42-year-old WF). Areas checked. Phone ping conducted. The subject started to send text messages to her husband stating she was fine. No further action deemed necessary by the police.
11) MIDTOWN: Information/Weapons – 7:01 p.m. Dispatch received a report from the caller/victim (19-year-old WF) who advised observing a male subject (WM) on the bike path with what appeared to be a bow/arrow. She also reported that it seemed that the male subject was simulating aiming at her. Areas checked. Nothing suspicious located. Investigation continuing.
12) EAST: Stolen Auto/Recovered – 7:12 p.m. The Dane County Sheriff's Office located a vehicle that was reported as stolen earlier in the day (vehicle was left unlocked and running). The vehicle was followed and the driver/suspect bailed. The suspect is at-large. The vehicle was returned to its owner. Investigation continuing.
13) NORTH: Intoxicated Driver – 7:28 p.m. Officers responded to the 3500 block of E. Washington Ave for an intoxicated driver/suspect (33-year-old WM). The suspect was taken into custody for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (4th offense).
14) SOUTH: Weapons Offense/Shots Fired – 7:43 p.m. Officers responded to the 2000 block of Baird St reference shots fired. Officers located multiple shell casings and a round that went through a residence (where two children were present). A second round shattered a window at another residence. No injuries reported. Incident Report on MPD's website completed. Investigation continuing.
15) NORTH: Weapons Offense/Shots Fired – 8:34 p.m. Officers responded to the 1800 block of Fordem Ave after the caller/victim (49-year-old HF) came home to find her patio door shattered. It was found that the door had been damaged by a gunshot. Incident Report on MPD's website completed. Investigation continuing.
16) NORTH: Drug Incident/Overdose – 11:30 p.m. Officers responded to a north side residence reference a subject (24-year-old WM) experiencing an overdose. The subject's parents gave him CCR and MFD administered Naloxone to revive the subject. The subject was conveyed to a local hospital. The subject admitted to heroin use. The subject was cited for possession of heroin and referred to the Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative.