COVID-19 and MPD
As our community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought it important to provide some updates on how the situation is affecting MPD and our service to the community. MPD has been working closely with our City, County and State partners to inform our response, and we will continue to do so moving forward. All components of City government are focusing on COVID-19, and MPD has designated an internal workgroup to work on it full-time. A few updates:
- MPD's primary function – maintaining public safety – is critical, so I am committed to reducing the likelihood that our personnel will be exposed to COVID-19. Officers have been issued personal protective equipment (PPE), which they will utilize as needed. The equipment includes masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection (photos below). Department personnel have also been provided cleaning and disinfectant supplies to keep our facilities and vehicles as clean as possible.
- We are also minimizing the risk of spread within our facilities. Meetings at MPD community rooms have been cancelled, routine fingerprint service is suspended, and civilian ride-alongs are on hold. The MPD Property window at the City-County Building will be available by appointment only by calling 608-266-4955.
- I've instructed our personnel to take reasonable steps to minimize opportunity for exposure during routine work. This includes maintaining social distancing (when feasible), handling incidents/contacts by phone where possible, and curtailing some non-essential proactive work.
- Like other City agencies, we are exploring options for having some of our support personnel work from home.
- State and County orders now prohibit most gatherings of more than 50 people; enforcement of these orders would fall to MPD. If called to an event or gathering in violation of these restrictions, officers will educate the organizer/owner and seek voluntary compliance before any enforcement would be considered. I'm happy to say that this has not been an issue, and the community has been adhering to these orders – thank you.
The response to COVID-19 at the federal, state and local level is unprecedented. While the restrictions put in place undoubtedly create hardship and inconvenience for many, they are necessary to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our community. MPD is committed to providing public safety and serving the community during this uncertain time. Our district stations are open, and our front-line personnel remain in the field to provide our core services.
Please look to Public Health Madison and Dane County for the latest updates on COVID-19:
The information provided below about some of the calls officers responded to 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 03/16/2020 through 6:00 a.m. on 03/17/2020, MPD received 302 calls for service. This number does not include parking complaints or 911 misdials. A breakdown of the calls for service per district is as follows: Central (53), East (53), Midtown (44), North (46), South (32), West (59), and Other (15). "Other" is used for calls that either do not have a sector or the sector is not in the City. This would be used in the case of one of our officers assisting another law enforcement agency.
NORTH: Theft – 8:53 a.m. Officers received a report of stolen copper wire from a construction site. Investigation continuing.
WEST: Stolen Vehicle – 9:49 a.m. Officers received a report of a stolen vehicle. Attempt to locate aired. The vehicle was listed as stolen in the appropriate databases. Investigation continuing.
NORTH: Disturbance – 12:40 p.m. Officers responded to a residence regarding a disturbance between two subjects (female victim and 19-year-old male suspect). The suspect stole the victim's vehicle and wallet. The suspect struck the victim as he was backing out of the driveway. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries. The suspect fled before officers arrived. The vehicle was listed as stolen in the appropriate databases. The suspect returned the vehicle later in the day and left the residence. Probable cause developed to arrest/charge the suspect once he is located. Investigation continuing.
NORTH: Domestic Disturbance – 1:41 p.m. Officers responded to a disturbance between two subjects (male victim and 21-year-old female suspect). The suspect struck the victim in the face and pulled his hair. The suspect was arrested. A Chapter 51 return order for the suspect was found to be valid. The suspect was conveyed to a local hospital for a medical clearance. The suspect was subsequently conveyed to Winnebago. Criminal charges to be referred for domestic battery, domestic disorderly conduct and bail jumping (4 counts).
EAST: Weapons Offense – 4:12 p.m. Officers met with a driver/victim who reported that another driver/suspect (36-year-old male) was driving recklessly and struck his vehicle on Stoughton Rd/Pflaum Rd. The suspect approached the victim and displayed a handgun. The suspect then left the area in his vehicle. The suspect vehicle/suspect was observed. A traffic stop was conducted and the suspect was contacted. A search of the vehicle yielded two handguns (one loaded and one unloaded). The suspect was arrested/charged with disorderly conduct while armed. The handguns were taken as evidence.
SOUTH: Intoxicated Driver – 5:19 p.m. Officers responded to a report of a vehicle striking curbs near Pike Drive/Turbot Drive. The driver/suspect (56-year-old male) was contacted and found to be impaired. The suspect failed field sobriety tests and was conveyed to a local hospital for a blood draw (warrant obtained) due to heroin being involved. While the suspect was being evaluated, serious but non-life threatening injuries were identified (pre-existing injuries). The suspect was admitted to the hospital. The suspect was cited for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (3rd offense), possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
NORTH: Death Investigation – 8:55 p.m. Officers responded to a residence regarding an infant who was seizing and was having difficulty breathing. The infant had asthma. Lifesaving measures were attempted but not successful. Medical Examiner's office responded. Nothing suspicious identified. Investigation continuing.
CENTRAL: Armed Robbery – 9:36 p.m. Officers responded to an armed robbery in the 200 block of N. Blount St. The male victim was walking on N. Blount St when a group of teenagers got out of two vehicles. A male suspect pointed a gun at the victim and robbed him of his cell phone. The suspects fled the area. The victim was not injured. Incident Report on MPD's website completed. Investigation continuing.
**Priority calls only from 12:22 a.m. to 1:05 a.m. due to calls for service.
**Priority calls only from 1:56 a.m. to 3:31 a.m. due to calls for service.
EAST: Information/Armed Robbery – 1:48 a.m. Officers met with the complainant who reported being robbed by a masked gunman. Inconsistent information/statement provided to officers. K9 track conducted with no results. Investigation continuing.
WEST: Stolen Vehicle – 1:59 a.m. Officers received a report of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was stolen from a garage that was open. The keys were in the vehicle. Attempt to locate aired. The vehicle was listed as stolen in the appropriate databases.