Feb 3, 201512:45 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Let’s hear it for the police, Madison!
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Bully again for Madison Police Chief Mike Koval. Last week Monday, his force had to contend with another traffic stoppage during the evening drive time by the contentious Young, Gifted and Black group. This time they blocked eastbound traffic on Doty Street.
“Unlike most demonstrations … we were provided no notice and thus had no one immediately available to provide traffic direction or to reroute vehicles,” Chief Koval reports. While vowing to “scrupulously honor constitutional rights and individual liberties,” Koval notes:
A review of video of this incident showed the volatility of what could occur when citizens are left to fend for themselves without our presence; many motorists were clearly indignant, horns were blaring constantly, some vehicles were nudging forward toward the human barricade and 911 was called. It appeared the situation was becoming highly confrontational. … This sort of demonstration “tactic” is fraught with potential flash points and cannot be countenanced.
The chief has spoken out against Young and Foolish’s demands that police abandon high-crime areas. (See: “In progressive Madison, police are perpetrators.”) Instead, his department is once again assigning a full-time neighborhood police officer, Kraig Knutson, to the troubled Balsam/Russett neighborhood just off Raymond Road in the southwest Madison neighborhood of Meadowood.
The Young and Foolish assault on police comes as Madison copes with more than 30 locally based gangs, with 3,000 to 4,000 members and associates, according to Channel 3000. Madison is experiencing a 350% increase in gang-related offenses compared to 2004. Of that, violent crimes involving a firearm, weapon, or bodily harm on average surged 195%.
Chief Koval has scheduled these community listening sessions, all from 6 to 7:30 p.m.:
- Tuesday, Feb. 10, MPD’s East District station, 809 S. Thompson Drive
- Wednesday, Feb. 11, Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd.
- Monday, Feb. 16, Good Shepherd Church, 5701 Raymond Road
- Wednesday, Feb. 18, MPD’s North District station, 2033 Londonderry Drive
- Thursday, Feb. 19, Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld St.
Let’s counter the silence from the politicians (except for Richard Brown) and editorialists by showing our support for community law enforcement.