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Over $700,000 in COPS Grant Earmarked For MPD

Chief Noble Wray is pleased to announce the newly formed Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has been awarded more than $700,000 by the United State Department of Justice through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program.

"This is the type of initiative administrators at COPS seek: cutting edge, evidence based, progressive policing that engages the community. We believe the SIU is going to be very successful," said Chief Wray.

SIU leader, Lt. Tom Woodmansee, said the MPD sought the funds specifically for the new progressive policing unit. It is charged with reducing violent crime by either turning offenders' lives around, or putting them behind bars for longer periods of time.

"We are very excited to have been awarded this grant. The goal of the Special Investigations Unit is to identify the most violent repeat offenders in our community and to change their behavior. We will do this by establishing collaborative efforts with law enforcement, prosecutors and the community and work directly with the offenders. The message to these offenders will be that we care about what happens to them but they will also be scrutinized like never before. They will be offered help if they need it and they will understand their violence must stop or they will be held accountable by law enforcement, prosecutors and the community," said Lt. Woodmansee.

The SIU is currently comprised of Lieutenant Woodmansee and three detectives: Paige Valenta, Samantha Kellogg, and Cory Nelson. The COPS funds will fund three SIU positions for three years.

The United Sates Department of Justice uses COPS funds to advance the practice of community policing through training and technical assistance, the development of innovative community policing strategies, applied research, guidebooks, and best practices that are national in scope.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) is a strong proponent of COPS grants.

"I congratulate the Madison Police Department for receiving this grant, and I will continue to work to ensure that the COPS program stays afloat. The COPS program has widespread support among Wisconsin law enforcement for a simple reason: it works. Not only does it help to drive down crime, it saves taxpayers money that would be lost in the penal system," Kohl said.

For more information on the MPD's SIU please use this link to read a prior MPD news release:

The Cap Times published this story on the SIU:

The exact amount of the COPS grant to Madison's SIU is $712,992.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897