In the wake of public demonstrations and protests over police use of force, President Obama created a Task Force of police practitioners and academics to address increasing tensions between local law enforcement and the communities they serve. In March 2015, The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its final report which has received widespread attention by national and local media. Over the past several months my Management Team and I have read through the Task Force report, and discussed this document at a number of Management Team meetings. We believe the Task Force report is an important document at this point in time in the history of policing.
As we completed our review of the report, we found the report to be a valuable assessment tool for examining initiatives and practices adopted by MPD in years past. We also found by discussing the Task Force report, we were able to identify areas where we, as an organization, could improve. The Madison Police Department has been guided for many years by a set of core values we believe are very consistent with the ideas and recommendations identified by the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
One of MPD's core values is continuous improvement. We recognize that if our Department is committed to exceptional service, each and every dimension of our operations must be based on our role as guardians to the community---stewards who must foster a fiduciary relationship of trust with those we are privileged to serve. Guardianship is predicated on our commitment to hiring, training and validating our employees in adhering to what I term in-house as the five "C's": character, competency, caring, commitment and collegiality. Ensuring that we are living up to these expectations requires that the Department is always evaluating "how" we are doing as well as critically comparing ourselves to best emerging practices . . .hence, the incorporation of the findings from the President's Task Force on 21st policing.
It would be an act of hubris to proclaim that MPD has "arrived." We will forever be in a state of dynamic change, cultivating community input and looking for constructive means to get closer to the people we serve. It is a labor of "love" and I am excited about the possibilities for the future!
Please read our Department's response, current status and plan for 21st Century Policing: http://www.cityofmadison.com/police/documents/21stCenturyPolicing.pdf