Tonight, the Common Council will begin consideration of Madison's 2018 budget. Several amendments implicate MPD's budget, and MPD staffing in particular. Since I became Chief, I have been consistent in my belief that MPD's staffing needs to increase if we are to continue to provide the level of service that our community expects. Last year's City study on MPD staffing (a joint effort by MPD and City Finance) supports this, as have other City studies on MPD staffing (going back to 1993).
Recognizing the impact of staffing increases on the City budget, MPD has sought to offset costs through grants at the federal and state level. In fact, an MPD application for fifteen officers through the federal COPS hiring grant program is pending, and we hope to hear from the Department of Justice any day. Funding for these positions is much of what is at issue tonight.
While Madison has seen a significant increase in violence in 2017 (a record number of homicides and shots fired incidents), the City remains relatively safe and a great place to live or visit. This is not an accident; the proactive efforts of MPD contribute greatly to the quality of life that City residents and visitors enjoy. While most civilians who encounter MPD will interact with patrol services (our core function), MPD's specialized units (neighborhood officers, mental health officers, community policing team officers, etc.) are critical to our overall effort. Yet as our workload increases, our capacity to engage in this proactive work is threatened. Indeed, I recently made the difficult decision to eliminate some of these positions (including our Safety Education unit and part of our Traffic Enforcement Safety Team) in 2018 and re-assign those officers to patrol. I am hopeful that the City budget that is approved tonight will provide MPD with appropriate staffing increases, allowing the department to continue the proactive work critical to Madison's health and safety.
From 5:30 a.m. on 11/12/2017 through 5:30 a.m. on 11/13/2017, MPD received 288 calls for service. This number does not include parking complaints or 911 misdials.
1) WEST: Weapons Offense Shots Fired – 7:49 a.m. Officers responded to the 3100 block of Maple Grove Dr for a report of shots fired. A disturbance was overheard by the victims (58 year old AAF and 60 year old AAM) nearby when they heard what they thought were two gunshots. A bullet entered their apartment, hit a bookshelf and went into their mattress (male victim was on the bed at the time). A perimeter was set up and two suspects were identified (41 year old WM and 21 year old WF). A search warrant was executed and a handgun was recovered. Suspects not cooperative. Investigation continuing (interviews, charges, etc.).
2) WEST: Death Investigation – 5:15 p.m. Officers responded to a west side residence for a deceased subject (26 year old WM). Medical Examiner responded. Investigation continuing.
3) EAST: Domestic Disturbance – 8:12 p.m. Officers responded to the 700 block of N. Thompson Dr for a domestic disturbance between two subjects (26 year old WF victim and 27 year old AAM suspect). The victim reported being strangled and battered by the suspect. The victim was transported to a local hospital for her injuries. The suspect was arrested for multiple domestic related charges including felony strangulation.
4) NORTH: Substantial Aggravated Battery – 11:55 p.m. Officers responded to a local hospital where a victim (23 year old AAF) reported being battered by an unknown suspect several hours earlier. The victim reported being hit and kicked while on the ground. Victim's upper lip needed multiple stitches. She also reported to using mace but that the suspect took it from her and sprayed her with it. Investigation continuing.
PRIORITY CALLS ONLY from 8:15am-10am city-wide and 8:15am-12pm (South and West) due to the weapons offense call.