The last few months have been extraordinarily busy for the men and women of the Madison Police Department. In about a month, the department handled Freakfest and two presidential visits, in addition to the high volume of "normal" workload. The presidential visits, in particular, are incredibly challenging. Presidential appearances are very labor-intensive, requiring a high number of officers (numbering in the hundreds) and coordination between multiple agencies. Adding to the challenge is that the planning for these events must take place in a very short time period (typically just a few days). Fortunately, both visits went very smoothly. And now that the election is over, hopefully we will have some time before any more visits are scheduled.
Residential burglaries continue to be one of the West District's most significant issues. Unlike earlier in the year, we are not seeing a pattern (geographically, time of day, day of week, etc.) to these crimes. Please remember to take all the precautions you can to minimize your chances of being victimized: keep your doors and windows locked (even while at home) and keep your house well illuminated. Report suspicious behavior to MPD, and try to get to know your neighbors, so you will be more tuned in to unusual behavior, suspicious persons, etc.
Anyone who has tried to reserve the West District Station's community room recently has found it to be unavailable. This is due to the station being re-painted and re-carpeted. The project was initially scheduled to start last year, but has been delayed several times. We will have to re-locate some offices within the building temporarily during the project, so please be patient, as we may be disrupted from time to time as things progress. The improvements should be completed in early January, and the community room will be available at that time.
In early October, we said goodbye to longtime West District police report typist Mary Trautsch. Mary was a long time City employee, who has worked at the West District's front counter since the building opened more than 10 years ago. We wish her well in retirement!
Replacing Mary is Melody Ketchum, who comes to us from the North District. Mel is getting acclimated to her new station, and we are happy to have her. Welcome!