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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.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Feb 17, 2015 10:39 am
 Posted by  coolkevs

Voted for Brown for Mayor today, but I'm still probably racist because I don't follow the Progressive Dane line.

Feb 17, 2015 11:07 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Chief Disinformation Officer Blaska! You and your "brother" Widgerson seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. Jeff Simpson quite explicitly did not accuse Jim Bender of being willing to share student information with pedophiles. He pointed out that if private school choice entities or individuals could easily access highly personal and contact information of students, so could pedophiles, stalkers, etc. Simpson did call Bender predatory, but only in a business sense, which Wisconsin School Choice is with our tax dollars.

Feb 17, 2015 11:59 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


What business does a staffer located at Our Great Public University in Madison have dabbling openly in Oregon politics? That may be a question that the Federal Bureau of Investigation tries to get to the bottom of...

Moreover, that bit of excess may indicate there are efficiency gains to be had at UW Madison.

Feb 17, 2015 12:57 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Having Cate Z. back in government is disturbing. Not only has she fed at the public trough for way too long but her hubby, former Assembly Speaker John Gard R-Sun Prarie, is now a big time self-promoting lobbyist. I'll bet Gard will get a lot of billable hours over the supper table. And Cate and John live in the Green Bay area. I wonder if she can work the per diem as well as John did when he lived in Sun Prairie yet supposedly represented folks in Marinette and Oconto Counties.

Dave, you should keep an eye on those shenanigans..

Feb 17, 2015 12:58 pm
 Posted by  coolkevs

I guess the Journal-Sentinel is a source of disinformation as well with Simpson canned.

Feb 17, 2015 01:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Even from way up here, north of Highway 8, it's pretty obvious that Über-Progressive Jeff Simpson has a real challenge making friends and influencing people.

Northwoods Patriot

Feb 18, 2015 11:31 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

One thing I noticed about Chief Koval's Meadowwood meeting: Not a single instance of significant police mistreatment or misconduct by the PD was alleged. In two hours, the subject didn't come up.

In the wake of the Ferguson, Mo. situation, I think that's a key distinction.

Feb 19, 2015 04:23 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

That's because the average age in the room was 66. I'll leave it up to you to figure out what the average skin color was.

Feb 19, 2015 08:57 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

So....anony at 4:23. You are pissed because, I am guessing here, that WHITE citizens showed up at a community meeting? Do these people not have a right to hear what the police chief has to say about the neighborhood they live in? You must be a liberal, because instead of striking out at the minority community that DID NOT show up, you criticize those that do.

If this is YOUR neighborhood, why did you not gather the minority community in your car to bring them to this important meeting? And since it was a neighborhood meeting you could have made a few trips back and forth to bring your minority friends to the meeting.

Feb 20, 2015 05:02 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

What makes you think I'm pissed? I'm saying the room was extremely kind to the chief because it was packed with his people. He's been met by different levels of enthusiasm in other neighborhoods.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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