Common Council Alders Respond to Recent Hire of Former DeForest Police Chief

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 3:18pm

October 10, 2018

To: Mr. Jim Campbell, Town of Madison Board Chair
Chief Scott Gregory, Town of Madison Police Department
Brende Hofer, Town of Madison Police and Fire Commission Chair

Re: Town of Madison hires former Deforest Police Chief

It is with great sadness and disappointment that we learned of your recent hire of Daniel Furseth, former DeForest Police Chief who resigned after a racist YouTube video surfaced. It is extremely disheartening to learn that the Town of Madison will make such an insensitive move by hiring Mr. Furseth especially during a climate fraught with divisiveness and distrust of trust of law enforcement, particularly among people of color. The hiring of Daniel Furseth undermines our shared values of developing trust and good governance with our municipalities.

Chief Gregory’s own statement as President of the Dane County Chiefs of Police Association declared that he and the Association condemns racism in any form and would speak out against acts by law enforcement that negatively impact the relationship between the police and the community as well as acts which undermine the progress made to develop trust with communities of color. This hiring serves to do the exact opposite of what Chief Gregory stated that he and the Association would do. Hiring Mr. Furseth undermines the trust with communities that he took an oath to protect and serve and hiring Mr. Furseth in the Town of Madison Police Department, reopened the wound which was healing through his resignation.

Mr. Furseth deserves a second chance but not in law enforcement particularly in the Town of Madison which will soon be attached to the City of Madison. It is our belief that insensitivity to people of color disqualifies him to hold the position of law enforcement officer.

Let us not forget the lessons from our past; said Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, “We must look beyond the mere legality of our actions and ensure our actions also conform to what is morally right. We must be careful not to do something that is lawful but awful.”

We sincerely hope that the Town leadership as well as the Police and Fire commission take a second look at this decision and rescind the offer given to Mr. Furseth immediately if there is to be any healing and rebuilding of trust between government, law enforcement and our shared communities.

Sincerely,

Ald. Samba Baldeh
Common Council President
District 17

Ald. Sheri Carter
Common Council Vice President
District 14

Ald. Barbara Harrington-McKinney
District 1

Ald. Ledell Zellers
District 2

Ald. Mike Verveer
District 4

Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff
District 5

Ald. Arvina Martin
District 11

Ald. Allen Arntsen
District 13

Ald. David Ahrens
District 15

Ald Michael Tierney
District 16

Ald. Keith Furman
District 19

Ald. Matt Phair
District 20

cc: City of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin
Town of Madison Board Members

Contacts

Category: 
Common Council