Staffing levels – more than anything – impact the ability of MPD to deliver services to the community. Increasing police staffing is expensive. So, it isn't a surprise that MPD staffing has been studied and evaluated so often over the years. One of these studies took place in 2007, when the City contracted with Etico Solutions, Inc. for the completion of a patrol staffing study. The methodology used in this process is data-based and reflects the "gold standard" for evaluating police staffing needs. Etico also provided the department with the means and methodology to repeat the analysis, and we have done so almost every year since then (major software updates made it impossible to do for a few years). The outcome of the process is to establish the appropriate level of police staffing for the patrol function, based on community expectations. We also use the analysis to allocate existing staffing in the most efficient manner possible.
The most recent analysis – based on 2018 data – was just completed. An overview:
- Reactive patrol workload increased by about 11% from 2017 to 2018.
- MPD patrol officers are spending more than 40 minutes each hour (on average) on reactive patrol work.
- A member of the community calling for police assistance has an almost one in ten chance that MPD patrol personnel are only able to respond to emergency/priority incidents.
- MPD's patrol function is far short (by thirty-one officers) of an appropriate staffing level.
Recognizing this deficiency and the urgent need to address patrol staffing, I have made the difficult decision to eliminate twelve non-patrol positions in 2020 and re-allocate them to patrol. These changes will result in reductions to MPD's Community Policing Teams; the Community Outreach and Resource Education (CORE) unit; the Gang Unit; and the elimination of two neighborhood officer positions. These cuts follow the elimination in 2017 of seven non-patrol positions (the Safety Education unit and the afternoon shift of the Traffic Enforcement Safety Team (TEST)). The cumulative impact of these cuts is a significant reduction in the level of service that MPD is able to provide the community. However, it is imperative that we adequately staff our patrol function to allow for appropriate police response to emergencies. These cuts will partially – but not fully – address the staffing deficiency our patrol function is facing.
The full staffing report is available here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/police/documents/PatrolWorkload2019.pdf
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 07/10/2019 through 6:00 a.m. on 07/11/2019, MPD received 535 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 535 calls for service for the past 24-hours, this is how the calls came in per district: Central (108), East (108), Midtown (87), North (63), South (60), West (65), and Other (44). 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 9:13am-9:57am due to calls for service.
**Priority calls only from 12:38pm-3:09pm due to calls for service.
**Priority calls only from 3:44pm-4:54pm due to calls for service.
**Priority calls only from 6:15pm-8:11pm due to calls for service.
**Priority only calls for the day totaled at approximately 6 hours and 38 minutes.
1) WEST: Stolen Autos – 7:16 a.m. Two vehicles were stolen from Sandhill Road overnight. One of the stolen vehicles was involved in a crash on the interstate where the driver/suspect (UM) fled. A female passenger/juvenile was conveyed to a local hospital for an evaluation/treatment but she fled from the hospital when her mother arrived at the hospital. The second vehicle has not been located. Keys were with both vehicles. Investigation continuing.
2) NORTH: Information/Sexual Assault of a Child – 11:12 a.m. Officers met with a victim (16-year-old AAF) who reported being sexually assaulted by a known acquaintance/suspect (32-year-old AAM). Investigation continuing.
3) EAST: Weapons Offense – 12:26 p.m. Officers responded to reports of shots fired near Great Gray/Owl Creek. Shortly thereafter, a local hospital advised that a victim (19-year-old AAM) arrived at the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. Preliminary investigations have determined that both of these calls are related. Incident report on MPD's website completed. Investigation continuing.
4) WEST: Suspicious Person/Recovered Stolen Auto – 5:08 p.m. Officers responded to Woodington Way after it was reported that a vehicle was parked on their street and appeared to have been in a crash. The caller advised that two male subjects were near the vehicle and talking. When officers arrived, the male subjects (AAMs) took off running. The vehicle was found to be reported stolen. The suspects were not located. Investigation continuing.
5) EAST: Stolen Auto – 6:33 p.m. Officers responded to Droster Rd for a report of a stolen auto. The vehicle was stolen out of a garage. Attempt to locate aired. The vehicle was listed as stolen in the appropriate databases. Investigation continuing.
6) MIDTOWN: Attempted Residential Burglary – 7:15 p.m. Officers responded to a Midtown district residence (Summit Ave) after the caller/homeowner reported that three suspects (AAMs) were in their garage attempting to steal their vehicle. The caller's husband gave chase to the suspects who fled on foot. Investigation continuing. See # 7 – related call.
7) MIDTOWN: Assist Police – 7:15 p.m. UW-Police Department observed a stolen vehicle on University Avenue. The vehicle crashed and the suspects fled on foot. The suspects (16-year-old AAM and 15-year-old AAM) were apprehended. This incident occurred right around the time of the attempted residential burglary in call #6 above. The two calls may be related. Investigation continuing.
8) SOUTH: Domestic Disturbance – 8:18 p.m. Officers responded to Bridge Road for a domestic disturbance between two subjects (49-year-old AAF victim and 51-year-old AAF suspect). The two subjects were engaged in a verbal argument which escalated when the suspect threw a steak at the victim (although it did not hit her). The victim attempted to leave but the suspect would not allow it. The suspect was arrested for disorderly conduct and false imprisonment (domestic-related charges).
9) MIDTOWN: Intoxicated Driver/Adult Arrested Person – 9:24 p.m. Officers responded to the 12/18 exit ramp (westbound) at S. Midvale Blvd for several reports of a driver slumped over in a vehicle. The driver/suspect (37-year-old WF) woke up and continued driving. The officers arrived in the area and observed the suspect passed out in vehicle. The vehicle was in drive and the suspect's foot was on the brake. There were two young children (aged 4 and 5) in the vehicle. The officers were able to put the vehicle in park. The suspect refused field sobriety tests. The suspect was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence with passengers under the age of 16. The suspect was conveyed to jail after a blood draw was completed at a local hospital. The children were released to their father.
10) MIDTOWN: Drug Incident/Investigation – 9:35 p.m. Officers responded to a local hospital for an out-of-control subject (17-year-old WM). The subject had been brought into the hospital voluntarily by his parents due to drug issues and suicidal statements. Officers were able to calm the subject down, at which point the officers disengaged. The officers were subsequently called back due to continued outbursts by the subject. Drugs were located on the subject which tested positive for heroin. The suspect was arrested and conveyed to jail. Investigation continuing.
11) CENTRAL: Domestic Disturbance – 10:09 p.m. Officers responded to W. Doty Street for a domestic disturbance between two subjects (19-year-old WF victim and 19-year-old WM suspect). Probable cause was developed to arrest the suspect. The suspect was conveyed to jail and charged with domestic disorderly conduct.
12) CENTRAL: Information/Sexual Assault – 2:30 a.m. Officers responded to a local hospital and met with a victim (21-year-old UF) who reported being sexually assaulted on N. Frances Street. Tentative ID of a suspect was determined (22-year-old AAM). Investigation continuing.