As a resident for nearly 40 years, I have watched Madison evolve from a safe place to live, to one that is troubled with seemingly daily shootings and assaults.
As identified under former Police Chief Mike Koval’s tenure, numerous gangs are operating across this city. He wanted to increase foot patrols and focus on gang-related issues in our city. The chief was denied additional staffing by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.
The mayor's new budget for the police department was twofold:
1. Hire a new independent police internal auditor.
2. Implement a program to improve police officer interactions for those with mental health concerns.
While it is important to offer assistance for those with mental health issues, the No. 1 concern should be for public safety. Hiring an auditor to focus on accountability is nothing more than another layer of bureaucracy -- another position of wasted budget dollars that can do little to develop trust in the community.
Chief Koval was a leader who had his finger on the pulse of this city. What he needed from our new mayor was to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, the very thing Mayor Rhodes-Conway wants -- spaces where our citizens can feel successful and thrive -- cannot happen without public safety.
The mayor needs to get in touch with what's going on in Madison. This is not a little city anymore.
Lyle Krall, Madison
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!