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MPD North District Launches Pilot Project

Statistics show that while overall crime in Madison is down, theft, including theft from vehicles, continues to be a problem. In an effort to address this, the North District is attempting a new approach to spread an old message. Police analysts have identified areas that have seen a concentrated number of thefts from vehicles. Using this data, police will be distributing educational materials, in the form of "vehicle report cards".

Officers will be conducting random security checks of unoccupied parked vehicles, noting whether doors are locked, windows are closed, items of value are in plain view, or anything else that could make the vehicle more attractive to thieves. A "report card" will be completed, indicating whether the vehicle passed or failed, with an explanation why. The "report cards" will then be placed on the windshield, but will not be a ticket.

It is hoped that those with vehicles that "pass", will feel encouraged to continue habits that make their property safe, while those with vehicles that "do not pass", will see this as an opportunity to make changes, as they discover it was a police officer visiting their vehicle, and not a thief.

We realize that sometimes despite best efforts to avoid it, people are still victimized; however, there are often simple measures that can be taken, to help keep property safe and reduce your chances of being victimized. These report cards simply point out areas of vulnerability, as it pertains to your vehicle.


  • Sgt. Bernie Gonzalez, 245-3655
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897