Feb 17, 201510:28 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Help Chief Koval keep folks out of jail: demand individual responsibility
(page 1 of 2)
I am blown away by Madison Police Chief Mike Koval and said so Monday evening at the last of his recent series of community meetings, attended by a good 100 citizens at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Raymond Road in Meadowood.
The man, not yet a year into the job, is the best stump speaker this side of the governor. Dynamic, lithe, informed, and obviously dedicated. I don’t know if other Madison chiefs of police have made such a concerted effort, but his five presentations were warranted given the blowback against the police in the wake of Ferguson, Mo. The “Hands Up!” movement in Madison takes the form of Young, Gifted and Black, which “demanded” no-go zones for city police, a separate and lower standard of justice for people of color, and a blank check for $8 million that the county is spending to study a new jail.
At the chief’s event at Sequoya Library on Midvale Boulevard, a member of Young and Foolish asked what Koval and his department were doing to keep black people out of jail. A guilty white liberal followed suit. Monday, at Good Shepherd, I returned the question: What is Young and Foolish doing to keep black people out of jail?
It was apparent Monday, although I arrived late and left early, that Young and Foolish has no traction in southwest Madison. One black lady Monday evening told the chief to bring all the police he wanted into her neighborhood. They were welcome.
Indeed, Chief Koval agreed with my characterization of Madison police as intake workers for the county social services system. “With badges,” he added. He agreed with neighborhood activist Dave Glomp that gang shootings — seven different incidents over eight days over the holidays — are of great concern.
Of the touchy-feely former police chief, David Couper, Koval said, “He was my mentor,” but added, somewhat cryptically, “his heart was pure,” suggesting that the reality of the outside world often isn’t.
“It’s my job to be the canary in the coal mine,” Koval said. It’s the citizenry’s job to guard his back, especially against demagogues who play to the news media and to opportunistic politicians.
Which is not to say that Koval, born and raised in Madison and a cop since 1983, is Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee. Koval gets the particular Madison zeitgeist. He spoke at length of the rigorous training Madison police undergo — hell, he trained most of them before becoming chief — and their educational achievement. Most of Madison’s 400 cops have college degrees.
The West Police District is in the process of taking over the vacant Mt. Olive Church on Mineral Point Road as a second precinct station. It struck me that, four years ago, the Urban League of Greater Madison was in negotiations to buy that property for its proposed Madison Prep public charter school.
How far has Madison sunk in those four years? From high expectations, personal responsibility, hard work, and achievement to Young and Foolish’s demands for lower standards, blame someone else, perpetual victimhood, and entitlement.
You tell me which mode would have kept people out of jail and which is more likely to incarcerate.