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Madison Police Chief Noble Wray plans to meet with Mayor Dave Cieslewicz next week to discuss a new initiative that would increase the number of officers assigned to the department's two-person Gang Unit and the one person crime prevention unit.

Part of the catalyst for Chief Wray's plan is a recent assessment by the Gang Unit that shows more than 900 confirmed Madison gang members. That figure swells to more than 1400 when associates of gang members are added.

Many gang members, and their associates, are engaged in a number of criminal activities: burglaries, robberies, drug dealing, aggravated assaults, and shootings.

"The Madison Police Department has been committed to deterring gang related criminal activity, but it is clear the number of young people connected to gangs is on the rise, and we need to respond to that growth," said Chief Wray.

His plan would utilize many of the department's current strengths to form a new Gang/Crime Prevention Unit. The unit would work closely with neighborhood officers community policing teams, Detectives and other resources by tapping the expertise of Crime Prevention, the Criminal Intelligence Section staff, as well as the knowledge and expertise of departmental gang specialists. This unit would also be responsible for educating the community in the areas of crime prevention and gang issues.

Chief Wray looks forward to sharing details of the initiative after his meeting with Mayor Cieslewicz.


  • Joel DeSpain, PIO, (608) 266-4897