We Support the Madison Police Department

Defending the defenders of Madison, Wisconsin

Madison Police Budget 101

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 | 2 comments

The city budget process is confusing if you’re not exposed to it on a regular basis, and frankly, it’s like watching paint dry.  But a lot is at stake. Not only can Mayor Soglin and common council reject the hiring of more police officers as Chief Koval has prescribed, but current programs are at risk.

I’ve outlined the most important things you need to know about the budget as it relates to the Madison Police Department. My apologies if this post is over-simplified – each person’s understanding of the process differs, and I don’t want to make any assumptions.

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Yes, Madison PD is Still Under Attack

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 | 0 comments

Need more evidence that the Madison Police Department is still under attack? The yellow yard signs distributed throughout the city continue to be vandalized and stolen, offering another indication of how deeply the hate runs for law enforcement.

These pictures were sent to me by an MPD supporter who reports that this occurred on October 4th (I’m posting them here with her permission). This is not the first time she’s had her signs vandalized. “Feel free to share the photo of our house with the sign in the window and why it is in the window. That sign was the first one kicked off of it’s frame in July 2016,” she writes.

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About Last Night

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 | 6 comments

First things first. Hugs to those of you who attended yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting at the City / Council building. I know that taking time away from your busy lives to sit in a dingy, government building is probably not on your top 10 list (it’s certainly not on mine). But you came and you conquered – and you helped lift this girl’s spirits.

Ditto to all of you who’ve been taking time to write letters to Mayor Soglin & common council – and then share them with me.

Your activism gives me hope. Yes, when you attend meetings, write letters, and take time to get involved, you are an activist – and a part of the solution. And for that, you have my deepest respect.

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Clarification: WLEM Vigil is for All Wisconsin Law Enforcement

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 | 0 comments

I was having a chat with someone the other day who was under the impression that the WLEM vigil being held next Wednesday, October 18th, is strictly in honor of the Madison Police Department. That is false. The vigil is in honor of all fallen Wisconsin police officers, as well as those Wisconsin officers currently serving or who have retired – so it includes, but is not limited to, the Madison PD.

I’m not sure how this rumor got started or why the invitation was misinterpreted, but you’re hearing the facts from the source.

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Tell City Government to Hire More Cops: Speak Out on Tuesday

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017 | 0 comments

In my new report, I detailed five reasons why Madison needs to hire more cops.  We’re at a critical point in time. City government is preparing to work on its annual budget, and if we want more cops hired, we have to speak out now.  After the alders vote and Mayor Soglin approves the 2018 budget, it’ll be too late to make a case for hiring more cops. Complaining will be pointless, and we’ll have to wait another year for the next opportunity to lobby for more police officers.

On Tuesday, October 10, the city will be holding its 2018 Operating Budget Hearings, at which time I’ll be presenting my case. And I urge you to attend. The meeting starts at 4:30PM, and will be held in room 201 of the City-County Building. The public will have an opportunity to speak at the start of the meeting (each speaker is allotted the standards three minutes), so you can say your peace and leave – you don’t need to stay for the entire meeting.

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Honoring Wisconsin Law Enforcement With a Vigil

Posted by on Oct 7, 2017 | 0 comments

We’re holding a special vigil and would love for you to be part of it. It’s a dual-purpose event – to honor all of Wisconsin’s fallen heroes, and to show our gratitude to the men and women currently serving our state, including those who have retired.

Radio show host, Vicki McKenna noodled the idea a couple weeks ago when I was on her show. We had been discussing the crisis facing law enforcement – including the recent desecration of the memorial, certain politicians’ unwillingness to disavow Antifa, and the UW-Madison student’s graphic, anti-cop video.  I loved her idea so much that I decided to run with it.

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Too Many Empty Seats This Evening

Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 | 11 comments

I’ll warn you in advance: I’m not mincing words in this post. Also, I respond best to constructive criticism and open dialog. Rude or threatening comments will be ignored.

It should have been standing-room only, but only about 40 people showed up this evening to talk policing and public safety. Props to those of you who took the time to attend. Heck, you have my deep respect if you’ve ever taken the time to craft a letter to the editor, email your elected officials, or sign my petition.

But here’s what I don’t get: Why wasn’t there a bigger turnout – especially considering that Madison residents are vocal about crime, safety, and law enforcement on social media? I so get that people have lives (I have one, too!) but for something so important as this, the room should have been jam-packed.

A decade ago, 700 of you showed up at a similar public meeting to demand solutions to Madison’s crime problem and lobby for more cops. What happened in 10 short years? Has everyone who cares moved out of the city? Has complaining on social media replaced the need for in-person communication and real activism? Have we really become that apathetic?

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Why Won’t the Dane County Board Disavow Cop Haters?

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 | 1 comment

Last week the Dane County Board of Supervisors voted on a resolution condemning neo-Nazism and white supremacy. As someone whose relatives were Holocaust survivors, I’m intimately familiar with the evil borne from supremacist groups.

But riddle me this, why won’t this same government body also condemn Antifa, a group that experts have called out as domestic terrorists, who equate police officers with neo-Nazis, and who use intimidation and violence to suppress those with dissenting opinions?

And why won’t they speak out against the cowardly thug who recently desecrated the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial? Or the University of Wisconsin student who made a graphically-violent video, depicting cops as racist pigs, even using a decapitated (fake) pig to prove his point?

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How You Can Help Law Enforcement in October

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 | 0 comments

Attempting to shepherd the smallest of changes is hard work, and is often rife with obstacles and setbacks. My experiences as an animal advocate have taught me that change won’t occur just because I want it to. When I feel powerless over situations out of my control (which pretty much happens on a regular basis) I find solace in affecting positive change where and when I can.

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5 Reasons Why Madison Needs to Hire More Cops

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 | 2 comments

By professional law enforcement standards, the Madison Police Department is understaffed. It’s a dilemma that impacts officer safety and well-being, threatens public security, and undermines the department’s focus on problem-solving and community-based policing.

I’ve been following this issue for over a year. During this period I’ve attended police-hosted and neighborhood watch meetings, talked and listened to police officers, attempted to communicate with city officials, scoured law enforcement journal and newspaper articles, and read publicly-available police reports. I’ve also been doing a lot of observing – and what I see, to put it bluntly, scares me.

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We’re Planning a Vigil

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 | 2 comments

Tough couple of days for me. I had to watch a graphically violent video depicting police officers as racist pigs, created by someone who is selling equally-offensive tee-shirts. I avoid violent shows & movies on purpose because I find them upsetting, but this video was even more painful to watch because I know how amazing our force is, and I consider a few of them good friends. It’s a sad statement that people harbor that much rage and hatred for a group of men and women who’ve done nothing to deserve it.

The silver lining is that I was interviewed this week by NBC-15’s Hannah Flood, and Vicki McKenna had Steve, David Blaska, and me on her show this evening. Both ladies did an amazing job, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to express my thoughts about local law enforcement. (Our segment on Vicki’s show starts at about 72:12.)

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Madison Cops are More Than Cops

Posted by on Sep 17, 2017 | 6 comments

Cops are much more than crime fighters and guardians. They’re also medics, social workers, friends, outreach workers, and constitutional experts. Without them, our city would not only be unsafe – it would also be less livable. The value police officers add to our lives can’t be easily quantified.

We put a heavy burden on law enforcement’s shoulders and ask a lot from them. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture, cop critics focus on the teeniest of imperfections, nitpicking until they find something to fit in with their narrative of how awful police are.

I often wonder, though if the public – even those who respect law enforcement – fully understands the depth of our own police department’s role in this city. Even I wasn’t aware of their multi-factorial approach as recently as a few years ago. Now that I have a better picture of what our cops really do, I’d like to share some of that knowledge with my awesome readers – I’ll be using this blog to put laser focus on the individual functions of the Madison PD.

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Law Enforcement License Plate Bill: Through the Pipeline it Goes

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 | 1 comment

Quickie update on AB-381, the Wisconsin Law Enforcement license plate bill – this is the bill Steve’s working on with Representative David Steffen’s office and the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial group. . .

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Acts of Kindness & Heroism by Madison Police Officers: A Chronicle

Posted by on Sep 8, 2017 |

Madison police officers not only keep us safe, but they regularly display acts of kindness and heroism that extend far beyond the scope of their duties. Whether it’s offering comfort to a homeless person, playing hoops with neighborhood kids, staying in touch with victims of heinous crimes (looking at you, Chief Koval), or saving a helpless animal, our cops have proven that they are top-grade human beings.

With all the negativity surrounding law enforcement – both nationwide and locally – and officer morale still being impacted, let’s show Madison’s Finest how much they mean to us. I’m starting a page where those of you who love and support our PD can express that. Do you have a positive story to share about about one of Madison’s Finest? Some kind act you were the recipient of or witnessed from afar? This is the place to do it.

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A Lesson by Nurse Alex Wubbels

Posted by on Sep 3, 2017 | 2 comments

In this angry, drama-filled planet we now inhabit, Nurse Alex Wubbels exhibits qualities that have become a rarity – grace and class. Based solely on that video, there’s no question those officers abused their authority. I say this in the full belief that what we all watched is an anomaly, by no means a reflection of all law enforcement officers. If I believed for a second this was a regular occurrence, there’s no way on earth I’d be devoting this much time to supporting the Madison Police Department or subjecting myself to criticism. Besides, my bucket list needs serious attention.

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Help Make the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial License Plate Fund a Reality

Posted by on Sep 2, 2017 |

As mentioned, the public hearing for the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial license plate bill held this past week went well. The bill (AB-381) still has to travel through the Assembly pipeline, and once completed the process begins again with the Senate. We have a way to go before the bill reaches Governor Walker’s desk for his signature.

In the meantime, you can help make this initiative a reality by signing Steve’s new petition, which he will deliver to the governor and members of the state legislature. To learn more about Steve’s efforts to shepherd this bill through the legislature, I encourage you to read the petition.

Hugs,

–Paula Fitzsimmons

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Action Alert: Tell Your State Representatives to Disavow Antifa

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 |

In a previous post, I wrote about Antifa, an extremist group that relies on violence and intimidation, while positioning itself as anti-fascist. Their actions and words betray the cause they claim to be supporting.

Antifa’s contempt extends to law enforcement, too. There are reports of “protesters” hurling urine-filled bottles and rocks at police officers. They equate cops with fascists and have displayed the thin blue line symbol alongside swastikas and other hateful symbols in their propaganda pieces.

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Law Enforcement Memorial License Plate Bill Forges Ahead

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 |

Rep. David Steffen, sponsor of AB-381. Published with permission from Rep. Steffen’s office

Great news! The public hearing for the Wisconsin Law Enforcement license plate bill  held this morning was a big success. Steve, who was one of four people who testified in favor of the bill (AB-381), said he got the impression that there’s a lot of support for it.  And why wouldn’t there be? God forbid, if something happens to a Wisconsin police officer, it’s only fitting that the family is provided for.

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Our Window of Opportunity to Hire More Cops is Getting Smaller

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 |

Numbers don’t lie, my friends. In a city of more than 250,000 thousand, we have on average, 18 cops guarding us between the hours of 4:00AM and 7:00AM. That’s it!  Despite what the mayor and council members believe, our police department is woefully understaffed. Alder Amanda Hall even had the audacity to accuse Chief Koval of using a tragedy to lobby for more cops.

You and I have the power to change this dismal number – we really do. But the window of opportunity in which to make these changes is short.

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We Can’t Do This Alone

Posted by on Aug 26, 2017 |

Based on the overwhelming level of support people display for Madison PD on social media, you’d think that enthusiasm would be reflected in our new petition. Yet as of this writing, we have only 403 signatures.

Before I continue, props to those of who have taken a moment to sign and share it, or who have shown your support in other ways – like writing letters to the papers, participating in our action alertsspeaking in front of common council meetings, displaying a yard sign, and offering to help in other ways. That takes a heck of a lot of courage, and for that you have my respect. You are a rare breed.

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Media’s Choice of Lead Story is Telling

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 | 9 comments

Kelly Hoeft is a human being who made a poor choice – and she’s paying for it dearly via the legal system and court of fickle public opinion. With Swiss watch predictability, the usual cop-hating cabals are using this incident to condemn not only her, but to vilify the Madison Police Department.

And the local media handed it right over to them. Out of all the big stories our journalists could report on, this is what they ran with? WISC-TV even chose this as their lead story this evening.

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Labeling Police Officers as Nazis is Unacceptable

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 |

On a cold, rainy day in the late 1970s I toured the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim, Poland. If you’ve ever been there, you know how sobering an experience it is. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the rooms where the Nazis tortured innocent people.

And the stories, like the one of SS guards cavalierly eating their dinners as prisoners screamed in excruciating pain just feet away (You think you have troubles?). I won’t go into too many details as they are too graphic and upsetting.

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Keep Pushing Cops Away and They May Never Come Back

Posted by on Aug 20, 2017 | 2 comments

We take cops for granted, assuming they’ll always be there for us in our time of need. Have you ever thought about a planet without the men and women willing to stand between us and anarchy? I have, and it isn’t a pleasant thought.

Sure, there will probably always be bodies to fill positions. But will they be of the caliber we’ve become accustomed to – like those who serve here in Madison? Don’t count on it.

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How One Alder Responded to My Email About Madison PD

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 | 4 comments

Earlier this week I emailed the Madison Common Council and Mayor Soglin, asking why they’ve been silent on our crime epidemic, and if they’ve come to the realization that the police are not the problem. Alder Phair replied, as did Alder Ahrens, who asked that I not include him in the conversation – which I find odd coming from an elected official, even if he isn’t my alder. (My own alder, Maurice Cheeks has not responded, by the way.)

I think the following thread speaks for itself, so I won’t add much commentary.

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Upcoming Budget Discussions – Madison PD Needs Full Funding

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 |

I’m on a mission, and I need your help. The common council and mayor will be debating the city’s annual budget in November, and I plan to present our new petition during this period. Yes, it’s still a few months away, but I’m using this time to collect 1,000 or more signatures. I know there are at least this many residents in the Madison area who support our force – and I need them all to sign the petition. So please continue to share.

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