Chief Shon Barnes is pleased to announce that the Madison Police Department has been awarded two grants by the United States Department of Justice through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program.

The first grant is an award from the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) program. The grant provides $175,000 to the MPD to expand existing mental health and wellness programs, and supports the creation of a Wellness Coordinator position.

“Officers who utilize support and trauma treatment along with supportive programs focused on resilience, self-regulation, coping skills, cognitive behavioral change, and relaxation have shown to have reduced levels of stress, negative emotions, and depression,” said Tresa Martinez of the City of Madison Employee Assistance Program.
Remarking on the funding for a contracted Wellness Coordinator position, Martinez continued “The person holding this position will collaborate with the existing mental and emotional health resources offered through the City’s EAP and insurance covered resources, provide more frequent prevention focused programming and enhance the skills and effectiveness of our existing Peer Support Team. It is my hope that this will be the start of a more robust internal support system for the MPD for years to come.”

The second grant award is from the Community Policing Development Microgrant program and will support the creation of a Community Policing Advisory Board in each of Madison’s six police districts.

This grant, also totaling $175,000, will allow increased collaboration and coordination of community policing and outreach activities in neighborhoods throughout Madison. Community members from each part of our City will hold a seat at the table in directing the community-focused policing efforts of MPD.

“The key idea of the project is to allow for community members to drive the activity of MPD by providing direction on the type of community engagement they would like to see from the Police Department,” said Capt. Matt Tye, who oversees the Community Outreach division of MPD.

This grant further formalizes the collaboration between MPD and the Madison Community Policing Foundation (MCPF). MCPF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and registered Affiliated Organization of the MPD that currently supports many of MPD’s community policing efforts. Under this grant, MCPF will provide administrative and logistical support to MPD in the establishment and operation of all six district-based Community Policing Advisory Boards. Current MCPF Chairperson, retired MPD Captain Joe Balles, states this new Federal grant will “significantly enhance MCPF’s efforts to strengthen and grow the relationship between MPD and neighborhoods throughout Madison.”

“These grants exemplify our new ‘Madison-Centric Policing’ philosophy and move MPD deeper into internal and external procedural justice – highlighting employee empowerment, greater transparency and community collaboration for increased public safety,” said Chief Barnes.

This grant builds upon the success of an earlier Microgrant awarded to MPD. That program was supported and evaluated by staff from the University of Wisconsin, and a post-project article was published in Police Chief Magazine (July 2019).