Friday, September 18, 2009 - 4:28am

Event Is Sunday At High Point Church

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray will join other city and county leaders at a listening session on public safety this weekend. Chief Wray is very interested in hearing from citizens about what they believe should be top priorities for our community in the face of very difficult, ongoing, budget discussions.

Chief Wray is particularly concerned about staffing levels at the Dane County District Attorney's Office. The number of cases referred to the District Attorney by local police agencies has doubled in the past two decades, yet the number of prosecutors has remained the same, and Chief Wray says the office is critically understaffed.

Now, District Attorney Brian Blanchard has been asked to submit a 2010 budget with a 6% cut. "As you can imagine, this will only make a bad situation worse," said Chief Wray.

One of those hosting the listening session is Dane County Supervisor Melanie Hampton. She is also a Madison Police Investigator. "The agencies that protect our neighborhoods are very interdependent," said Supervisor Hampton, adding, "This is an opportunity to explain the complex relationship between patrolling
and investigation, prosecution and victim/witness resources, the court system, the Sheriff's Department, and the effect of current budget constraints."

The listening session is slated for Sunday night, September 20th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at High Point Church, 7702 High Point Road.

Besides Supervisor Hampton, the event is being hosted by:

• Dane County Supervisor Dianne Hesselbein
• Madison Alderman Paul Skidmore
• Madison Alderman Steve King

Supervisors Hampton and Hesselbein and Hampton serve on the Dane County Public Protection and Judiciary Committee; Alderman Skidmore serves on the Public Service Commission; Alderman King serves on the Madison City-County Liaison Committee.

Speaking at the listening session will be:

• Chief Wray
• District Attorney Brian Blanchard
• Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney
• Madison Fire Chief Debra Amesqua

All involved are working together to achieve the best possible results in terms of public safety for our community.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897