Tag: Chief Koval

May 22, 2017 9:33 AM

In this week’s blog, I want to give props to Madison Memorial High School (not an easy feat for a proud graduate of Madison West)! Late last fall, a team led by Principal Jay Affeldt and staff members Robin Amado, Cara Fitzgerald, Kristin Voss, and Leslie Mitchell hatched an idea that showed … [read more]

April 25, 2017 3:20 PM

In today’s blog, I am providing an excerpt of an email that was sent to the Mayor and all alders regarding a rash of violent crimes that occurred on the night of Monday, April 24th. I have been attempting to sound the alarm of the progressively disturbing trends we are experiencing with guns, … [read more]

April 17, 2017 9:38 AM

As someone married to a Madison Metropolitan School District teacher, I can tell you that BOTH students and staff have begun the countdown to summer vacation!  And given all of the together/"quality" time that some of our families have spent (endured?) during the various spring breaks that … [read more]

March 23, 2017 11:44 AM

During a recent week of viewing briefing notes, I had to pause to consider the modern-era challenges confronting our MPD officers.  On a regular basis, my officers are investigating child sexual assaults, substantial crimes against persons, and “shots fired” incidents; responding to … [read more]

March 1, 2017 1:27 PM

Recently, one of our officers shared an email with me that was directed to members of the Homeless Services Consortium, a group comprised of volunteers, formerly homeless, some not-for-profits, and some alders.  The forwarded email referenced the recently passed traffic safety ordinance … [read more]

February 24, 2017 1:58 PM

First things first.  As we approach the anniversary of Tony Robinson’s death (3/6), I must again express my condolences to the Robinson’s, their family, and their friends.  No amount of money can assuage their grief and loss. As a father of two adult sons, I cannot even fathom what it … [read more]

February 20, 2017 12:30 PM

It has often been said that being a police officer is like having a ringside seat on the entire spectrum of the human condition.  When I appear at neighborhood forums or recruits ask you to talk about calls we’ve been on, you never have to embellish or make stuff up. . .life is truer than … [read more]

January 30, 2017 1:52 PM

As Chief, I am frequently contacted with suggestions from those who want to influence MPD policies and procedures; suggestions for new initiatives and calls for the dismantling of current protocols.  These come to me through concerted letter writing campaigns, coordinated emails, community … [read more]

January 23, 2017 10:29 AM

And among the chorus of chants being heard from upwards of 75,000++ people who rallied from the Library Mall, down State Street, and up to the overflowing grounds of the State Capital last Saturday was:  “This is what democracy looks like!”  Indeed! Madison has much to be proud of … [read more]

December 21, 2016 3:25 PM

In light of recent national scrutiny of police practices, community members in some cities have questioned the type, quality, and emphasis of training provided to their local agencies.  Citizens have questioned whether their local department embraces community interests.  We agree that … [read more]

December 15, 2016 9:14 AM

As part of the thirty hours of cultural competency training, this year's Recruit class read the book "Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America" by Roberto G. Gonzales.  This ethnography recounts some of Gonzales's findings from a twelve-year study of 150 undocumented young … [read more]

December 2, 2016 1:05 PM

In October, The Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a comprehensive report examining the barriers and promising practices in recruitment, hiring and retention of officers in the advancing of law enforcement diversity.  The DOJ and EEOC engaged … [read more]

November 16, 2016 2:46 PM

Recently, all of our commissioned personnel completed an eight hour in-service dedicated exclusively to the topic of de-escalation.  This was both a reaffirmation of fundamental training precepts that have been taught for decades as well as an opportunity to codify and share these methods … [read more]

October 31, 2016 12:57 PM

The City is drawing close to assembling and finalizing a budget for 2017.  Soon, the Common Council and Mayor will grapple with the compelling needs of our community; trying to create a template in which the immediate concerns of today are balanced with an eye toward anticipated priorities … [read more]

October 13, 2016 12:45 PM

There is nothing that piques the attention of a cop (and gets the heart racing) more than hearing an alert tone sounding across all of our communication channels followed by a dispatcher's announcement of "shots fired."  Regrettably, this has become an all-too-familiar refrain for the City … [read more]

September 1, 2016 11:09 AM

Video Message from Chief Koval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsPyhqFqNK0&feature=youtu.be The Dane County Sheriff's review is now complete and has concluded that, "based on the totality of the circumstances confronting each officer at the time force was used, the actions of [the … [read more]

August 24, 2016 2:16 PM

Each year, the Madison Police Department offers an internship program; the vast majority of students flock to our summer openings.  Typically, we have 40-60 students competing for an average of 20 unpaid internship positions.  The work placements for the internships vary but students … [read more]

August 15, 2016 12:50 PM

After serving our community for 32 years, my classmate Joe Balles, retired from MPD last January.  Captain Joe Balles was the venerable face of MPD in a variety of contexts but none more memorable than as the leader of the South Police District.  And while Joe may have officially … [read more]

July 26, 2016 1:39 PM

From time to time, I have yielded my blog to have someone from the Department weigh in on a topical issue or upcoming event.  This week's offering comes as a result of a recent Common Council meeting in which alders heard from constituents on a symbolic petition drive drafted in support of … [read more]

July 8, 2016 3:28 PM

This was a hard week for everyone.  Nationwide coverage of visually graphic officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.  The tragedy of seeing events unfolding in Dallas where twelve officers are shot; five dead and at least three are in critical condition.  … [read more]

June 20, 2016 9:17 AM

Shake the Lake June 25, 2016 (Rain date June 26, 2016) Shake the Lake's inaugural year was 2015, and approximately 70,000 attended this spectacular event.  This year, 90,000 are expected to partake in the afternoon/evening of music, food, activities and fun.  New for this year are … [read more]

June 15, 2016 1:18 PM

I want to take this opportunity to put some closure on days leading up to and concluding with the meeting of the Common Council on 6/7. Whenever a topic has a nexus to the Madison Police Department or there are issues that are affecting the morale of our workforce, one can expect that I will … [read more]

June 13, 2016 10:52 AM

The world sees yet another example of mass murder in the United States. This time the venue is Orlando, Florida, and the numbers are staggering.  With already at least 50 counted among the dead and many more wounded, this incident has resulted in yet another perverse "record" being set. … [read more]

June 5, 2016 7:26 PM

This week, the City of Madison Common Council will be voting on a resolution to authorize another $350,000 (in addition to the original $50,000) to study the City of Madison Police Department's policies/procedures/practices/training/culture and anything else that can be thrown in for good … [read more]

May 20, 2016 3:31 PM

In the past few days, there have been a number of questions posed to me or staff regarding a request for “forty” more officers in the next operating budget cycle!  No such request has been made (nor will it for 2017).  As best as I can deduce, this number was seized upon and taken out … [read more]

May 9, 2016 10:08 AM

This week’s blog will begin with a story.  I will not be making any references as to when it occurred, which store was involved, which mall, or name any of the various affected parties of interest.  It’s not the particulars of this specific case that matters so much; it is the teachable … [read more]

May 4, 2016 8:33 AM

This past week was tough sledding for most of us at MPD.  In addition to the “usual” calls that illuminate the human condition at the worst moments, our world turns upside down and sideways when the victims are children.  One two-year old murdered, one six month old baby was … [read more]

April 25, 2016 9:00 AM

This coming weekend marks yet another rite of spring . . .the annual passage that I refer to in a whisper (and certainly not for public proclamation) as the dreaded “M” word . . .(Mifflin).  This “block” party has longstanding roots dating back to the anti-war protests of 1969.  … [read more]

April 19, 2016 9:13 AM

This past Friday marked the conclusion of two weeks worth of interviewing applicants who are competing to be a part of MPD's fall pre-service class.  The finalists have survived a gauntlet of assessments including written testing, take-home essays, timed essays, physical agility standards, … [read more]

April 1, 2016 11:32 AM

During a recently completed series of neighborhood forums, a few people inquired about the challenges of maintaining “quality and control assurance” measures with a work force of over 600 employees, spread out over five separate shifts, covering approximately 90 square miles in five … [read more]

March 21, 2016 9:43 AM

What is the Citizen Academy? The Madison Police Department's Citizen Academy is a program that is designed to give the public a working knowledge and understanding of the values, goals, and operations of the City of Madison Police Department. The objective of the Academy is to improve the … [read more]

March 15, 2016 8:24 AM

With his recent visit to Madison, the 14th Dalai Lama spoke again to a packed theater at the Overture Center.  His message was at once simple and profound:  World peace is developed from inner peace, and the foundation for both is love. To best serve as guardians of democracy, police … [read more]

March 8, 2016 8:51 AM

When people ask me for a "forecast" on the future of our City with respect to public safety, I can't help but discuss issues of poverty.  The growing divide is becoming more pronounced between the "have's" and the "have not's."  While it is true that Madison continues to notch more … [read more]

February 26, 2016 3:25 PM

The Madison Police Department’s 23 newest recruit officers will be hitting the streets in early March.  These women and men have completed close to 900 hours of training, conducted over the last five months, prior to field training (the State of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board … [read more]

February 23, 2016 3:43 PM

The Madison Police Department has long enjoyed a reputation as a national leader in progressive policing with an emphasis on problem solving and community engagement.  Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the vibrant relationship building that is taking place in a number of neighborhoods … [read more]

February 19, 2016 9:10 AM

A little over a year ago, I announced the start of a “pilot” program with the creation of two new units of detectives in 2015 – one for violent crimes (VCU) and one for burglary crimes (BCU).  I chose to focus on violent crimes and burglaries in light of their increased frequency and because … [read more]

February 5, 2016 2:13 PM

One of the things that I relish doing as Chief is spending time with our recruits at the Training Center.  Having spent seventeen years with the Personnel and Training Team, I can certainly attest to the fact that these aspiring police officers come to us filled with resolve and hope, … [read more]

January 28, 2016 8:56 AM

Since becoming Chief in April of 2014, I am literally tethered to my cell phone, 24-7.  While I have a great team that can negotiate and resolve virtually everything and anything that comes our way, my management style (Management by Walking Around/MBWA) is such that I want to stay plugged … [read more]

January 21, 2016 9:34 AM

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 … [read more]

January 8, 2016 8:57 AM

With the new year upon us comes the inevitable ritual where we consider “resolutions” to strive for in 2016.  Both at work as well as at home, I am bombarded by those who are thrusting THEIR suggestions on ME for 2016, to include nonsense such as cutting down on my consumption of … [read more]

December 11, 2015 3:02 PM

In the past several weeks, my office has received some letters from various groups that have raised questions or demanded explanations on a host of topics.  I thought that this blog may provide some insight that could be shared citywide as several of these issues also surface at various … [read more]

November 19, 2015 3:07 PM

Like many of you, I often head off to work in the morning taking the dreaded Beltline (if ever there was a more compelling reason to take the bus, this is prima facie proof)!  Since I am typically in the office downtown between 6:30-7:00 a.m., traffic flow is not at gridlock (yet) and I … [read more]

November 12, 2015 3:02 PM

I have just concluded another round of citywide community forums.  By going to all of the various Districts and bringing the host command staff with me to address concerns unique and specific to that District, we have continued our commitment for face-to-face engagement.  The only … [read more]

October 27, 2015 2:30 PM

MPD was honored to host Bryan Stevenson who spoke to our recruit class on Monday, October 26.  Stevenson is a New York Times Bestselling author of Just Mercy, a book which also won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.  Stevenson was in Madison to accept the … [read more]

October 20, 2015 3:29 PM

Issues of racial disparity in Dane County have been well-chronicled.  Whether the context be education, economics or the criminal justice system, the sad fact remains that people of color are starkly impacted.  In the near future, an  ad hoc committee convened by the City will … [read more]

September 24, 2015 3:29 PM

Since my last blog on the subject of Midtown, I have been heartened by the incredible outpouring of support that we have received for this important public safety initiative.  Not only will Midtown provide greater balance to our service distribution needs,  the quality of those services … [read more]

July 20, 2015 8:44 AM

In an attempt to promote domestic tranquility on the home front, I took a few days “off” the week of 7/5/15.  My wife of 31 years is crazy about their family’s cottage in the north woods and I agreed to take a brief sojourn predicated on a few terms:  I would relent to her desire to … [read more]

July 13, 2015 9:32 AM

During my first year in office, several new initiatives were launched in an effort to keep our MPD on the cutting edge of service delivery.  To that end, affirmative steps have been taken including: 1.  Expanding our reach into more neighborhoods with the creation of five … [read more]

June 29, 2015 3:32 PM

Hard to believe that we are already coming up on the Fourth of July!  As my wife is a teacher, I always like to use this date as a signal that her summer vacation is half over---and you can just imagine how well this is received! (I’m bracing myself for the pushback from teachers throughout … [read more]

June 22, 2015 1:18 PM

On Friday, June the 26th, fourteen probationary police officers will graduate from our Department’s Pre-Service Academy. This will be the 57th Graduating Class from the Madison Police Department.   The Madison Police Department is a progressive, diverse agency committed to the … [read more]

June 17, 2015 2:02 PM

This Saturday, June 20th, local community leaders from "Kujichagulia" and the Madison Center for Self Determination have once again organized a "Juneteenth Day" celebration.  There is actually a number of different events taking place around Juneteenth Day, but two of the main features of … [read more]

June 11, 2015 10:01 AM

In order for us to achieve our goals of being a trusted, “guardian-based” agency committed to providing qualitative services which are accessible to everyone and administered in a way that constituents feel valued and respected, the foundation for this rests with our ability to recruit and train … [read more]

May 27, 2015 3:25 PM

A few months ago, I was approached by the President/CEO of the YMCA of Dane County, Carrie Wall, to discuss ways in which we might partner with them to create unique opportunities to connect with youth in our community and to help facilitate a safe space for our youth to engage through structured … [read more]

May 22, 2015 1:07 PM

  UPDATE: See the attached video for the press conference held on 5/22/15 regarding this matter As I draft this blog, a coordinated response of MPD command staff, specialized units (including Violent Crime, Burglary, Gang, Special Investigations, Dane County Narcotics Task Force, … [read more]

May 12, 2015 4:02 PM

The verdict is in on the Tony Robinson case.  After applying the law to the unique facts of this incident, District Attorney Ozanne has determined that MPD Officer Matt Kenny will not be charged criminally. In the aftermath of this decision, our City finds itself at a crossroad.  How … [read more]

April 28, 2015 12:53 PM

Recently, I was at a meeting where a citizen made an inquiry about MPD’s deadly force policy.  Specifically, the question posed was something on the order of “When does your policy of shoot-to-kill take effect?”  It caught me off guard as I have been here since 1983 and the use of this … [read more]

April 16, 2015 8:21 AM

The Capital Times recently printed an opinion piece from Amelia Royko Maurer and Greg Gelembuik that excoriated this Department's response to multiple public records requests concerning the shooting death of Tony Robinson.  The City Attorney's Office, along with our Department, felt it was … [read more]

April 13, 2015 8:28 AM

Like many of you, this past week I watched in utter disbelief and horror as we again witnessed instances of police misbehavior captured for all of the world to see.  This time, the venues were South Carolina and California.  And while none of us is privy to all of the facts at this … [read more]

April 6, 2015 3:13 PM

Last Friday (4/3/15), MPD responded to a deluge of open records requests by placing them on our web site for public examination. Prior to release, we worked with the City Attorney’s Office to ensure that every attempt was made to be in compliance with the law on open records and to foster … [read more]

March 16, 2015 11:15 AM

In reflecting on the events following the death of Tony Robinson, my eyes absently wander to the TV in my home reporting on yet another CNN update from Ferguson. While watching, I cannot refrain from reciting a quick prayer of thanksgiving; though we share a common past with Ferguson, I believe … [read more]

March 9, 2015 11:27 AM

Sir Robert Peel, arguably one of those who first articulated the necessity of having “police” in our midst, created a number of fundamental principles by which police should view their mission.  Peel lived and made these observations in the mid-1800’s. Surprisingly, despite the passage of … [read more]

March 2, 2015 9:01 AM

This week's submission on "Why kids join gangs" has been authored by Sergeant Brian Chaney, who directs the activities of our gang unit.  Sgt. Chaney offers a general primer of potential signs or "flags" that MAY be indicative of a youth who is straying.  While it is by no means a … [read more]

February 2, 2015 10:50 AM

From time to time, I will dedicate blogs to issues that are trending to the MPD website or my office.  This week’s topics touch upon questions I have received relative to protesters stopping traffic, the recent Council resolution to study body worn cameras in 2015, and the federal … [read more]

January 28, 2015 8:39 AM

Chief Koval will be holding public forums in the communities again.  Below are the details of each forum.  These community forums are an opportunity for you, the public, to meet with the Chief and discuss questions or concerns that you may have.  We hope to see you … [read more]

January 26, 2015 11:38 AM

On May 2nd, 2014, my third day as Chief for the City of Madison, I was finishing up on some work at my beloved training office when I heard the alert tone sound from my desktop scanner.  As cops, we have all experienced that anxious moment wondering if it will be a call assigned to me and … [read more]

January 20, 2015 11:14 AM

When I took the oath of office as chief on April 30, 2014, I was blessed to be chosen to lead a workforce teeming with talent and a proud tradition of providing qualitative services.  But no person or agency should fall prey to resting on past laurels; a commitment to continuous improvement is … [read more]

January 12, 2015 11:33 AM

On January 9, 2015, the group known as the Young, Gifted, and Black Coalition sent an "Open Letter to Police Chief Koval" and recipients including Mayor Paul Soglin and City of Madison Alders. While there were many concerns and "demands" that were directed to me, one paragraph stood out … [read more]

December 16, 2014 1:02 PM

As our nation struggles with looking to improve measures taken to provide for greater transparency, accountability, and sensitivity of our police toward the citizens we are sworn to protect and serve, I have been asked what steps are being taken by MPD.  While there is no one-size-fits-all … [read more]

October 14, 2014 8:44 AM

With respect to the recently published article about my personal opinion(s) regarding marijuana, context is important.  Since the article was published I have received quite a bit of feedback and numerous inquiries about what was written.  I believe further information on where I am coming … [read more]

October 8, 2014 9:31 AM

In a recent opinion commentary submitted by a guest in a local newspaper, a number of issues are raised (related to whether police need AR15’s) that compel me to provide our community with a different perspective.  A perspective that is coming from a career police officer of over 30 years; and … [read more]

September 19, 2014 8:46 AM

Each year, the United States honors the contributions that Latinos have made to the nation with a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration that runs from September 15 through October 15.  This period is a time to celebrate the heritage and culture of our Hispanic and Latino Community. The … [read more]

August 19, 2014 2:40 PM

In an attempt to stay engaged with constituent questions and concerns, a number of community forums have been scheduled for the month of September.  These sessions are an opportunity to provide me with direct feedback and there will also be a representative from the hosting District should you … [read more]

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