City of

District 16

Alder Michael J. Tierney

Alder Michael J. Tierney

Alder Michael J. Tierney

Contact Information

Home Address:

4534 Secret Garden Dr
McFarland , WI 53558

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Tierney’s Updates

Notes - Safety Meeting 2/22/16

March 28, 2016 9:34 AM

Safety Meeting – March 22, 2016



I hosted a meeting to allow residents to hear from the East District police officers concerning safety in our neighborhoods.  I am pleased to write there was a nice turnout for the safety meeting on Tuesday evening. For those who were not able to make the meeting my notes are below. They are meant to give an overview of the discussion; are not a complete report of everything said.


Captain Mary Schauf, East District Police Captain – Captain Schauf kicked off the meeting by bringing us up to date on crime in our neighborhoods and introducing us to the following officers:

Officer Rodney Wilson - Crime Prevention and Safety Coordinator, Neighborhood Watch and Safety
Detective Kelly Beckett - Burglary Crime Unit
Officer Kevin Dunnington – East District Community Policing Team; call to report suspicious behavior
Officer Heather Dzick – East District Neighborhood Officer


Captain Schauf said that 2016 started off very busy for East District Police Department (PD) but settled down as February came to a close.  PD have made arrests in both home burglaries and continue to work to tie up these cases.  The arrest made in East Buckeye was credited to neighborhood residents for calling in a tip due to sightings of suspicious behavior and a unknown vehicle in that neighborhood.  PD followed up and involved Detective Beckett's Burglary Crime Unit, and a subsequent arrest was made.


Captain Schauf stated criminals are very opportunistic.  They look for open doors, unlocked cars, etc.  The good news is there doesn't seem to be a pattern to the criminal behavior.  For example, there was property damage in Richmond Hill, and theft from autos in Elvehjem, Heritage Heights and Rolling Meadows.  Cars have also been stolen from the YMCA parking lot. (People leave their keys in unlocked lockers while they go to exercise, which has resulted in three stolen cars. (Teens have been arrested.)) The most concerning crimes were the home burglary and home invasion.


Captain Schauf also spoke about the heroin problem in and around Madison.  People need money to pay for their addiction, and they look for easy, quick ways to find it.  Heroin overdoses continue to be an issue across the city. In PD, this happens primarily on the E. Washington Avenue corridor and Dutch Mill Park and Ride.


Captain Schauf urged everyone to call in suspicious behavior; PD can't be everywhere.  They need us to help them prevent crime.


Detective Kelly Beckett 

Detective Beckett spoke about home burglaries.  She reiterated that criminals are opportunists.  They are looking for easy pickings: valuables left in the open, unlocked or open doors, etc.


Officer Rodney Wilson

Officer Wilson's talk with us was mostly about how to prevent crime from occurring. He spoke about social media being positive if used to alert and not to breed fear. There is a difference between being alert and going through steps to protect yourself and being frozen from fear because of what you are hearing.  He has witnessed social media postings getting way out of control and not reporting what is really happening, being based instead on fear.


Officer Wilson said he has a nightly routine to help prevent crime. Before he goes to bed at night, checks to make sure doors and windows are locked, garage door closed, cars locked, etc.  He goes through a similar routine when he leaves the house, and he urged us to develop our own routine.


Officer Wilson emphasized that although crime is low per capita in Madison and in our neighborhoods, it is exists. If you are a victim of a crime, it is a violation, sometimes life-changing and always very upsetting.


He spoke about Neighborhood Watch picking up in our community but stressed it is not the same program as 25 years ago. It isn't just about posting signs and looking out of your windows. Officer Wilson stressed that if a neighborhood watch program is just about crime, it will not last.  He added some neighborhoods have potlucks, invite speakers, and create posters with dots showing where crimes have happened. They talk about trends and real numbers.  The information is not meant to breed fear but to share knowledge based on accurate information.


Neighbors were concerned about home burglary and asked what to do if someone comes into their home.  Officer Wilson told us, "If you hear something, call the police." He spoke about crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), which is a way to deter criminals from making your home a target:

Lighting – Use constant lighting.  Because motion lights are set off regularly, people don't react to them.
Landscaping - Around the house, keep plantings low to the ground so someone can't hide behind them.
Clear entrance - Make the entrance to your home clear so people who aren't on a clear defined path are known to be up to no good.
Maintenance - It is important your house is well maintained, and it is even more important it looks lived in: papers picked up, lawn mowed, etc.
Social media - Don't post photos of leaving on vacation or while you are on vacation.  This information is used by people outside your close circle of friends.
Close your blinds at night – If criminals can't see in, they don't know what is inside, and it is less safe for them.
Lock your doors and windows and shut your garage door.
AND, the most important way to stop crime from occurring is social capital - Know your neighbors, engage in conversation, participate in neighborhood events, volunteer to be a part of a committee or neighborhood watch program.  You have a responsibility to look out for each other and work with the PD to prevent crime from happening.


Other questions on safety

Should I invest in an alarm system? Yes, if it makes you feel safer.
Should I buy a dog? Only if you want a dog.
Do noise makers deter criminals?  Yes, keeping a fog horn within easy reach is a good way to scare someone away from you.  Also, keep your phone in easy reach to dial 911 in case of an emergency.

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