During a recent trek to our Training Academy to teach a class for our new recruits, I was met almost immediately at the door by a highly-animated Lieutenant chomping at the bit anxious to share something with me. Apparently, an individual wrote a letter to one of the papers in which she lamented how "white" the composition of the new pre-service class was. The writer went on to infer that MPD should do more to recruit diversity to the ranks. Lieutenant Ed Marshall oversees the Academy and recruiting initiatives. Marshall and his team are extremely intentional in casting a wide-net to provide our community with individuals who reflect the width and breath of our constituents. Lieutenant Marshall expressed his desire to draft a rebuttal of the supposition advanced by the letter to the press. I granted Lieutenant Marshall his request and his opinion piece was published today. I thought that Marshall's efforts were spot-on and received his permission to reprint his commentary here today as part of my blog. (It should be noted that Lieutenant Ed Marshall is a 15-year veteran of MPD who holds a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Civilization from Beloit College. Lieutenant Marshall also noted and advised that I could include the fact that he is a product of a single head of household family – mom – and identifies as an African American male).
"I am writing in response to the Letter to the Editor dated 06/12/19, titled "Where's the Diversity?"
My name is Ed Marshall; On January 1 of this year, I assumed the rank and assignment of Lieutenant of Training for the City of Madison Police Department. I am effectively the Director of the City's Police Academy.
Knowing the class make-up, my first response to the letter was that this is a diverse group of adults who are stepping up to the challenge of serving this unique community. This class of 50, the largest class in MPD's history, includes 4 officers who identify as African American/Black or bi-racial, 4 who identify as Asian or Middle Eastern, at least 3 who were adopted as children, and 13 women. We also have officers who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. This class is being taught by Training Officers who were specifically selected for their expertise and teaching ability, yet themselves are also diverse. My training team of 9 includes 2 women and 2 male minorities. Their Lieutenant is African American (that's me if you're still paying attention), and our Captain, to whom I report, is female. Our Training Team also frequently engages subject matter experts from the Department and our community on topics such as cultural competence, emotional intelligence, officer wellness, and mental health.
When they graduate, they will be joining the ranks of a Department that has historically been lauded and sought out for its efforts at improving its own diversity. The most recent figures to which I am privy break MPD down as:
- 28% female (The national average for police departments is closer to 15% per the Bureau of Justice Statistics. MPD officers have maintained an active and strong presence in the Wisconsin Association of Women Police.)
- 9% Black/African American
- 3% Asian
- 6.5% Latinx
- 1.8% NA
If you take the time to compare these numbers to the available data on racial/ethnic make-up of Madison WI, you will find that MPD is comparable on many levels. That said, we don't rest on our laurels, and have been looking for ways to recruit women and minorities with greater success.
My second thought was that the writer's offhanded comment about "how white they look" dismisses the experiences and previous work of these new officers, based purely on the color of their skin. I hasten to point out that these new officers also bring with them personal and professional experiences, including: careers in teaching, living abroad (including Peace Corps service), graduate level studies, service as first responders, volunteerism/social activism, military service, language skills, and significant work in social services and violence reduction. These experiences serve to strengthen their ability to serve our public, and raise the Department's cultural competence as a whole. Many MPD officers continue to serve their communities in various capacities outside of Policing.
Race, especially as it relates to Policing, is a major topic of discussion in this country, and Madison is no exception. A Police Department should make efforts to reflect the diversity, races, and ethnicities of the community it serves. But that's only half the story. Race, ethnicity, and diversity alone do not translate
into cultural awareness, compassion, and competence, nor are they mutually exclusive. As Madison begins to feel the effects of some of this tension, as well as the national decline in police recruiting, MPD will strive to continuously improve not only the quality of its service to the public, but also the clarity of our reflection of this diverse community.
Lieutenant, Madison Police Department Personnel and Training Team"
The information contained in my blog is derived from notes provided by MPD Officers-In-Charge (OIC) at the end of their shifts. Most narratives represent early and preliminary information that was gathered by an OIC from those in the field who were actively working cases. The OIC is sharing what they were being told, in the moment. In many instances, facts and circumstances, even the type of crime listed, can change as officers, detectives and investigators continue their work.
From 6:00 a.m. on 06/18/2019 through 6:00 a.m. on 06/19/2019, MPD received 566 calls for service. This number does not include parking complaints or 911 misdials. For purposes of clarification, the following abbreviations are short-hand for race designations: W=White, AA=African American, NA=Native American, H=Hispanic, ME=Middle Eastern, A=Asian, MR=Mixed Race, U=Unknown. MPD shifts are staggered as follows: 1st detail=7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 2nd detail=12 p.m. to 8 p.m., 3rd detail=3 p.m. to 11 p.m., 4th detail=8 p.m. to 4 a.m., 5th detail=11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
To further break down the 566 calls for service for the past 24-hours, this is how the calls came in per district: Central (88), East (106), Midtown (98), North (86), South (60), West (76), and Other (53). Other=these are calls for service that either do not have a sector listed or the sector is not in the City. For example, if one of our officers assists another law enforcement agency, their sector is not listed in our districts so therefore it is listed under "other".
**Priority calls only from 8am-12pm due to calls for service.
**Priority calls only from 3:54pm-5:12pm due to calls for service.
**Priority calls only from 6:22pm-9:30pm due to calls for service.
1) WEST: Domestic Disturbance/Adult Arrested Person – 7:19 a.m. Officers responded to the 6800 block of Schroeder Road for a preserve the peace request. The caller (UF), who was the victim of domestic violence on Monday night, requested MPD to assist her in entering her residence to retrieve some of her personal belongings. The suspect (31-year-old AAM) was present when officers and the caller were on scene. The suspect attacked the officers as they were attempting to keep the caller safe. The suspect is a self-described sovereign citizen and does not believe in recognizing United States authorities, like the police. The suspect was arrested for felony resisting (3 counts). A MPD Sergeant and three officers sustained minor injuries. Incident report on MPD's website completed. Investigation continuing.
2) EAST: Missing Adult – 9:04 a.m. Officers responded to a report of a missing adult (75-year-old WF) who suffers from Alzheimer's. The subject was located safe on Regas Road. No further action deemed necessary by officers.
3) EAST: Information/Threats Complaint – 9:21 a.m. St. Dennis Catholic Church/School on Dempsey Road were evacuated (Dempsey Road was temporarily shut down) after a suspicious package was found near a St. Vincent de Paul drop box. The package was marked flammable. A ticking sound could be heard coming from the package. The sound ended up not coming from the package marked flammable but from another donation – neither of which turned out to be anything dangerous. No further action deemed necessary by officers. Incident report on MPD's website completed.
4) SOUTH: Domestic Disturbance – 10:06 a.m. Officers responded to Turbot Drive for a report of a subject kicking in the door. Dispatch advised there was a lot of yelling and signs of a disturbance on the 911 call. The suspect (25-year-old AAM) retreated to the basement and would not show himself when officers arrived. It was discovered that the suspect had caused a disturbance (threw juice around the living room and refused to leave when asked by the homeowner). Probable cause was developed to arrest the suspect. The suspect was taken into custody without incident, conveyed to jail and charged with domestic disorderly conduct.
5) NORTH: Assist Law Enforcement/Disturbance – 12:59 p.m. Dane County Sheriff's Office requested assistance at the airport for a disturbance. It was reported that a suspect (19-year-old AAM) was armed with a wrench and that he was detained. Two other suspects (25-year-old AAM and 20-year-old AAM) fled on foot. The 20-year-old suspect was located with a backpack full of marijuana. The 25-year-old suspect was also located. The 19-year-old suspect was arrested for disorderly conduct while armed and an outstanding warrant. The 25-year-old suspect was arrested for resisting arrest and an outstanding warrant. The 20-year-old suspect was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, resisting arrest and a probation hold. Investigation continuing.
6) EAST: Adult Arrested Person – 5:06 p.m. Officers observed a wanted suspect (27-year-old WM) in a vehicle. A traffic stop was conducted and the suspect was arrested for an outstanding warrant. The driver/suspect (26-year-old WF) was found to be in possession of drugs/paraphernalia. The female suspect was cited for possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. The female suspect was referred to the Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative (MARI) and was released from the scene.
7) SOUTH: Strong Arm Robbery – 6:13 p.m. Officers responded to E. Lakeside Drive where four juveniles/suspects (16-year-old AAM, 15-year-old AAF, 15-year-old AAF and 16-year-old AAF) were found rummaging through a vehicle and were confronted by the registered owner/victim (36-year-old WM). The victim observed that one of the suspect's had a knife/weapon. The suspects were all contacted/detained. A box cutter was recovered. Various charges were filed against the suspects – theft, disorderly conduct while armed, party to a crime. The suspects were arrested and conveyed to the Juvenile Reception Center. Additional charges may be forthcoming. Investigation continuing.
8) EAST: Crash with Injuries – 7:49 p.m. Officers responded to Stoughton Rd/Lexington Ave for a motor vehicle vs. motorcycle crash. Witnesses reported that the motorcycle driver crashed into the back of a vehicle, flew over the car and landed in the road. The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The motor vehicle that was struck left the scene. The driver of the motorcycle/suspect (36-year-old AAM) was found to be under the influence. The suspect was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (4th offense). Injuries were not deemed life-threatening. Investigation continuing.
9) MIDTOWN: Drug Incident/Investigation – 12:31 a.m. Officers responded to a Midtown district residence after the homeowner/caller advised that his 12-year-old nephew had purchased a THC/vape pen, along with THC oil, from another juvenile. The paraphernalia was turned over to MPD. Investigation continuing.
10) CENTRAL: Intoxicated Driver/Adult Arrested Person – 3:18 a.m. A driver/suspect (26-year-old AAM) approached an officer and asked for directions while driving. The suspect was determined to be intoxicated. The suspect was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (4th offense).
11) WEST: Domestic Disturbance – 3:27 a.m. Officers responded to the 7900 block of Tree Lane for a disturbance. A suspect (17-year-old AAM) was arguing with other individuals in the home and punched a hole in the wall. The suspect was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property (domestic-related charges). Investigation continuing.