This blog was authored by Captain Jay Lengfeld.
In 2008, the Madison Police Department held a five year Strategic Planning session at American Family Training Center, which included community members as well as other city staff. One of the groups looked at city growth. The outcome from this group was a continuation of the Midtown police discussion, which had initially begun in 2006. This group predicted and saw the growth of the west side of Madison, the annexation of the Town of Madison and how this would affect the West and South Police Districts. Currently, the West Police District serves over one-third of the Madison population and the station is over capacity with staff and parking. When the West police district was first built in 2001 there were 58 employees working out of it. Today there are more than 90. The current population of the West District is more than 80,000 and is equivalent to the 5th largest city in the State of Wisconsin by population. The total square mileage in the West District is 28 square miles and covers more than 330 miles of roadway. The South Police District is having some of the same problems with capacity and does not have room for the increase in staff that will be needed when the Town of Madison is annexed into the City. The Midtown station will also help the Central Police District in removing UW football game planning and other events that occur on the UW property, including the UW Hospital.
Over the years the Department has continued to work on this project and in late 2013 the building located at 4018 Mineral Point Rd (old Mt Oliver Church) came available to the City for purchase. The City closed on the property in March of 2014 and has sold many of the items that were left in the building. The pews, organ, stain glass, to name a few, have found new homes. Habitat for Humanity has removed many items that will be used in future projects and will return for possibly additional items when we get closer to the demolition date. In January of this year, the City purchased and closed on the house located at 4016 Mineral Point Rd, which was part of the church property. By adding this property to the project, it will give us many more options for the design of the station and placement.
The City has budgeted funds for the demolition of the house and church for this year, as well as the design of the station. There are funds for the construction of the station in 2016 and the station should be serving the community in 2017. The Department has formed three committees to work on this project. The first is the Executive Guidance Team, which is made up of city staff who will be kept informed of the progress of the project and will bring expertise to the project. The second team is the Design Team who will be responsible for guiding the architect in designing the station. This team is made up of a cross section of the Department and a citizen member of the Sunset Village Neighborhood Association. The third team is the Logistic Team, which is responsible for staffing and other resources needed for the station.
Preliminary boundaries for the Midtown station are still being developed and will assist our Department in balancing the geographic boundaries, workload, staff and resources for the West, South and Central Districts.
There will be a meeting to update the community on the Midtown station on April 6th, from 6:30 PM to 7:45 PM at Our Lady Queen of Peace, in the Gathering room, located at 401 S. Owen Dr. This meeting is co-sponsored by Sunset Village Neighborhood Association and the Madison Police Department.