After serving more than five years as the head of the Madison Police Department, Police Chief Mike Koval announced his retirement Sunday morning in his daily blog.
Starting Monday, Koval will no longer be chief.
“I did my best to be a guardian to the community and a guardian to the ‘guardians’ (cops),” Koval said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community.”
Koval’s sudden announcement came as a shock even to those who knew it was coming. Ald. Paul Skidmore, 9th District, said “probably around a year ago” Koval told him he was thinking of retiring this fall.
“I know it was coming, but it was still a shock when he called me this morning,” Skidmore said.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said Koval told her Sunday morning that Sunday would be his last day.
Skidmore said over the last couple of years, Koval has been “beaten bloody” by “cop haters.”
In his blog post, Koval said he was “eternally grateful” to constituents who have encouraged and supported of the police department. He said those supporters will “never know how important” their efforts were “to the morale of our Department.”
Koval also had a message for those who have spoke in opposition to local police.
“To the ‘haters,’ thanks to you as well — for through your unrelenting, unforgiving, desire to make the police the brunt of all of your scorn — I drew strength from your pervasive and persistent bullying,” Koval said.
I give massive credit to those willing to wear the badge in a place like Madison. It’s a dangerous business in any community, but imagine going to work every day, putting your life, health, and livelihood on the line, for people who generally hate your guts.
Who is going to patrol Madison’s streets when nobody wants to do the job anymore?