Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Madison

Madison Stalls on Police Body Cameras

The public conversation on police body cameras has been fascinating and it is equally fascinating that leftist Madison is so far behind the times on this.

In an interview with News 3 Now last week, Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said he was frustrated by the committee’s decision but hoped the pilot would move forward. He also said he hoped to hold a public hearing on the issue sometime this year.


Multiple attempts to install body-worn cameras on police officers in the city have failed in recent years.


July 2021 report from the Police Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee concluded they should only be implemented if a number of steps were undertaken before the program was launched. Those steps ranged from making sure an independent police monitor and the Police Civilian Oversight Board have full access to video to making sure the Dane County District Attorney’s Office undertakes measures to prevent overall charging rates for low-level offenses from climbing as a result of the program.

When cameras reached a size and portability to make body cameras available, it was really the anti-police forces pushing for them under the thought that police were committing all sorts of offenses. They thought that the cameras would help them catch bad cops.

Personally, I was on the fence. I thought that having a video that shows one perspective could be used to smear good work. I also thought that as the public watched police do their work, they would be shocked by the sometimes aggressive tactics that they have to use to maintain order.

In practice, body cameras have been great. More often they exonerate police when accused of bad behavior than confirm it. Also, the cameras have given the public a good window into what modern policing looks like and the crazy people that they often deal with. It’s like the TV show COPS where we can marvel at the patience and professionalism of the vast majority of police. At the same time, the cameras have been useful in catching police officers who do abuse their power. I’ve become a huge supporter of body cameras for police.

Which makes it telling that liberal Madison continues to drag their feet. Since body cameras have been a positive thing for police instead of a negative thing, Madison’s leaders are reluctant to deploy them. As if we didn’t already know that Madison’s political leaders were anti-police, this is yet another example.

Two Teens Arrested in Murder of 11-Year-Old Madison Girl

Good. Let’s hope they got the right guys and that convictions are forthcoming.

Two males — one 16, the other 19 — have been arrested in the slaying of 11-year-old Anisa Scott on Madison’s East Side earlier this week, Madison police said Friday.

The 19-year-old, Perion Carreon, was arrested Wednesday, while the 16-year-old, Andre Brown, was arrested Friday. Both are from Madison and were arrested on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, both as a party to a crime.

If he’s charged with first-degree intentional homicide, Brown would be charged in adult court even though he is only 16. State law requires anyone 10 or older charged with first-degree intentional homicide to be charged as an adult.


Anisa was a passenger in a car that was being driven on East Washington Avenue near Lexington Avenue about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday when it was struck by bullets, likely intended for the driver. Anisa was struck and wounded.

On Thursday, her family removed her from life support, at 11:11 a.m., signifying the date the shooting occurred and her age. She is Madison’s 10th homicide victim of 2020.

Violence Spikes in Madison

Yet another call to “end the violence” and whatnot as crime skyrockets in Madison. I found this tripe fairly inane.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a statement Tuesday that the “senseless violence must stop.” As the MPD investigates these incidents, she said she will advocate for “common sense gun laws” and her staff will build violence prevention strategies.

Who is going to enforce all of those “common sense gun laws” if they defund the police? Perhaps more police and intolerance to violence would help, no?

Madison Police Union Has No Confidence in Mayor it Endorsed Just Last Year

Perhaps they should be more discerning with their endorsements. Rhodes-Conway’s leftist proclivities were well known.

MADISON (WKOW) — The Madison Professional Police Officer’s Association has approved a declaration of ‘no confidence’ in the leadership of Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.

The board of directors said the vote was ‘resolute’ with more than 95 percent of the association’s voting membership returning a vote of “no confidence,” according to a news release.

“The MPPOA did not make this decision easily or in haste,” board members said in a statement.

“Instead, our vote of no confidence is the culmination of many months of frustration in the absence of effective leadership from the mayor.”

Board members said that they had a recent meeting with Mayor Rhodes-Conway in which they say she effectively declined to help them meet with community groups and members to facilitate conversation, asking them instead to use their voice.

Back in March 2019, the MPPOA announced their endorsement of Rhodes-Conway for Mayor.

Businesses in Downtown Madison Struggle

Not that I go there very often anyway, but I doubt I’ll be sitting at a sidewalk cafe in downtown Madison for a very long time. I expect I’m not the only one. These businesses are going to struggle for a long time thanks to the deliberate inaction of their mayor and police department.

But several business owners and the head of a Downtown business organization said the disturbance at Coopers Tavern was not an isolated incident. They said Johnson and others entered multiple businesses on State Street on Monday and Tuesday, played loud music, called business owners racists, threatened to burn buildings, demanded free food and drinks and knocked over patio chairs and tables.


A number of business owners who spoke to a reporter were unwilling to be named or have their businesses identified for fear they or their businesses would face retribution from protesters. They said the government needs to do more to ensure State Street is safe and protect their businesses, including calling in the National Guard if needed.

Madison Mayor Ramps Up Appeasement

What a joke – an unfunny joke. 90% of the statement from Madison’s mayor is about how Madison is doing its best to appease the rioters as fast as possible. You elected this, Madison.

However, what happened last night in Madison was far from peaceful and exceeding dangerous. People attacked a State Senator who championed workers’ rights in 2011, tore down a statute of an abolitionist who died trying to end slavery during the Civil War, and attempted to set fire to a building with dozens of people inside. We need to separate First Amendment protests from those engaged in criminal conduct. People engaged in violence and criminal conduct against people or property on the streets of Madison will be held accountable.

Madison Police are involved in a wide-ranging investigation of activities that lead up to the arrest on the square yesterday and will have further information on this investigation when it is available. Officers are also investigating Sunday night hit and run involving a pick-up truck and a pedestrian.

People are asking for real, substantive changes, and the City is responding. The Council moved forward with the creation of an independent police auditor and an independent civilian police oversight committee, and we will continue to work to implement the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Task Force on Police Policy and Procedure. The Public Safety Review Committee and the City Attorney’s office are reviewing the Madison Police Department’s use of force policies, comparing them with the 8 can’t wait standards, the NAACP recommendations, and other best practices from around the country, and will make recommendations for any needed changes. Our Community and Economic Development divisions are working to develop programs and move funds to support wealth-building, housing assistance,small businesses and more in the Black community. Alders are exploring the mental health ambulance model and how to adapt it for Madison. My office is engaging with the question of how to reimagine public safety, and working to engage the community in all of these issues. At the State level, the Governor and Lt. Governor introduced a strong package of proposals around police reform and racial equity.

I’ll wager that there are zero arrests out of this.

Save State Street?

I feel for these business owners who have seen their livelihoods destroyed. I wonder how many of them supported the lefty city politicians who shut down their local economy and then stood by while the rioters destroyed their businesses.

A coalition of State Street businesses pleaded with the city on Monday to improve safety, offer subsidies to attract new businesses and to temporarily convert the street into a pedestrian mall.

In a letter to the city titled “Save State Street” and signed by “your concerned local State Street business and property owners,” the group, which had been meeting for nearly two weeks, also encouraged the city to fund programs to increase the number of Black and other minority-owned businesses; add more security cameras, remove rocks from planters and to replace the glass at the now boarded up visitor center adjacent to Lisa Link Peace Park.

The list of 19 requests come in the wake of closures due to COVID-19 followed by rioting and looting during protests over the killing of George Floyd. Business owners say they fear for their safety, haven’t been listened to by the city and worry about the street’s vibrancy as several businesses have indicated they may not return.


A major issue revolves around the presence of police, something the street has lacked in recent weeks, according to business owners.

“We have heard continuously that people, regardless of race, age, sex, etc., do not feel comfortable or safe on State Street with the current state of affairs,” business owners wrote. “That perception is unlikely to change unless the city actively works to change it. Neighborhood officers should be peacefully present, walking State Street and pleasantly interacting with people in an attempt to rebuild relationships and trust with community members.”

Verveer, who represents much of the downtown, said Monday that he is not surprised by the letter and is “appreciative” of the list of the requests. He was asked by the merchants several weeks ago if it would be helpful if they made a list of concerns and offer ideas to address the issues on the street that normally gets millions of visitors a year. The letter is absent names of business owners.

Madison City Council Denies Funding for Non-Lethal Tools for Police

I guess the council prefers that the police either allow rioters to loot or use lethal force to stop them. What an idiotic act of virtue signaling that will make it more difficult for police to handle situations without using lethal force.

The Madison City Council on Tuesday unanimously blocked the police department’s request to use $50,000 for certain weapons, including projectile launchers that were used against local protesters.


The projectile launchers, which a police spokesman said fire sponge rounds, were used against protesters during the unrest and looting Downtown that occurred on May 30 and 31, acting police Chief Vic Wahl said in a June 2 blog post.

Ald. Max Prestigiacomo, 8th District, who proposed the amendment to prevent funding the launchers, said standing against the tools was “showing solidarity with those protesters.”


Funding for the launchers was part of a resolution that would have moved $125,000 in unused police funds to purchase and install a generator at the East District Police Station for $75,000 and purchase the less-lethal equipment for $50,000. The other equipment would have included Tasers, ammunition and training for new instructors, Wahl said in a statement.

The amended resolution approved Tuesday left the funding for the generator, but took out the funding for the weapons.

Madison Uses Welfare to Fund Transportation

You can’t make this up.

A $40 vehicle registration fee for City of Madison residents is new in 2020 and was created to support the expansion of Metro Transit bus service, including the future implementation of bus rapid transit. As part of the program, the City implemented new subsidies for low-income bus riders and youth.

The Madison Finance Committee also passed a budget amendment in October 2019 to pay for a reimbursement program for clients of the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

Families who participate in the WIC program and live in the City of Madison are eligible to receive a $40 Visa gift card. The program went into effect on January 21, 2020. Families must provide proof that they paid their vehicle registration in 2020. Proof of payment is the Certificate of Vehicle Registration that comes with the license plate tags. Families can receive a gift card for each vehicle they register.

Madison passes a wheel tax, but then passes a subsidy for folks on WIC to pay for the wheel tax. The real world effect is that they are transferring welfare money into the transportation budget.

Madison Alderman Wants Regional Transit Authority

Um… ok?

MADISON (WKOW) — Madison alder Michael Tierney is proposing a new ordinance that could provide a way to get rid of the city’s new $40 vehicle registration fee but still fund public transportation.

He’s hoping that if Dane County one day establishes a Regional Transit Authority (RTA), the city would be able to sunset the wheel tax. He said it’s a way to send a signal to Madison residents that they won’t have pay the “regressive” tax indefinitely.

“I want to set the stage to let people know there is a desire to have something more equitable and fair in place as soon as we possibly can,” he said.

But right now, Regional Transit Authorities aren’t even legal in Wisconsin. In 2009, the Democratic-controlled Legislature gave the green light to several of them, including one in Dane County.

Just two years later, the newly Republican-controlled Legislature made them illegal. This effectively ended all discussions and plans that were in the works.

Don’t you love it when a politician proposes something that is completely outside of his authority and illegal? Here’s what city official mean when they support an RTA: “let’s tax the suburbs to fund city stuff. Sure, we might run a bus or two out to the suburbs for show, but the bulk of the money will be spent in the city.”

Madison Plans to Inconvenience Drivers After Taking their Money


The plan is still in its early stages, but the Transportation Policy and Planning board met Monday, discussing what routes downtown could look like. Lynch said BRT routes could overlap current Madison Metro lines.

The plan is to connect East Towne and West Towne with dedicated lanes for the buses, limited stops and frequent service. The BRT system is part of the mayor’s larger MetroForward plan announced in September.

“Our BRT buses, one bus will be taking 80 cars off of East Washington Avenue,” Lynch said.

Lynch estimates the bus rapid transit system’s operating cost will be between $3.5 and $4.5 million annually.

The annual $7.8 million coming in from the wheel tax must go toward transportation-related costs. Lynch said $1.4 million of that will go toward the BRT system and about $2.6 million will go to Madison Metro for things including “increasing costs associated with fuel, drivers’ salaries (and) maintenance concerns.”

Madison implemented a wheel tax on the people with cars. Now they will use the money to make it harder to drive in downtown and spend more on buses. Nice.

Madison To Implement $40 Wheel Tax

Madison gonna Madison.

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)– The Madison Common Council passed a new $40 wheel tax for city residents Tuesday night, the highest of its kind in Wisconsin.

Alders voted 11-8 in favor of the tax, according to council members NBC15 reached out to.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway proposed the vehicle registration tax in her 2020 budget proposal, in an attempt to fill a budget whole and fund works such as transit upgrades.

The mayor estimates the tax hike will generate almost $8 million for the city.

Madison Toys with Full Time Council

Mark this day. I’m in full agreement with Dave Zweifel.

The task force charged with recommending changes in how Madison government is structured is toying with an idea that would reduce the number of alders from 20 to 10 and make them full-time with an annual salary of up to $70,000.

It’s a lousy idea.

All we need do is look a block away and observe what’s been going on in the state Capitol to understand how it would change city government for the worse.


When it was composed of part-timers — people who made their livings running family farms, small businesses, practicing law and even teaching — the Wisconsin Legislature was famous for its enlightened legislation and groundbreaking ideas. They’d pass a budget and deal with pressing issues that required new or changed laws, and then go home to work and live with their constituents. Most of them were people who were willing to make sacrifices because they had ideas and wanted to make a difference.

But, worse, they faced extreme pressure to keep their jobs at election time. When a part-timer was defeated, he or she still had a job. A full-timer, though, needs to keep that job or trot off to the unemployment office. That, in turn, has led to the poisoning of our elections with burgeoning campaign dollars, misleading attack ads and underhanded tactics.

Eclectic Group to Pick New Police Chief

This will not end well. They will undoubtedly choose the perfect politically correct chief who checks all of the appropriate demographic boxes, but will probably stink at actual policing. I hope I’m wrong.

The five people slated to pick Madison’s next police chief include a former UW-Madison basketball player targeted two years ago in an alleged racist attack, the author of a city-commissioned report on community perceptions of police body cameras, and a longtime union leader.

And in an overwhelmingly white city where the intersection of race and policing has become a flashpoint among a vocal set of police critics, four of the five are people of color.

Madison Mayor Prioritizes Rapid Transit over Safety

Budgets are a statement of priorities. It’s pretty clear what her’s are.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is looking to impose an additional $40 vehicle registration fee on Madison drivers to get the motor running on an approximately $130 million Bus Rapid Transit proposal that was a main plank of her spring campaign.

The first-term mayor’s first city operating budget proposal, released Tuesday and totaling $340.4 million, also keeps police staffing flat — a move that former police chief Mike Koval said in July will necessitate moving 12 positions from units focusing on neighborhood policing, gangs and other proactive work to patrol. Koval had long complained of inadequate police staffing. He retired Sunday with one day’s notice.

Madison Cop Haters Drive Out Police Chief

What a shame.

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?

Madison Slaps Down on Catholic High School

Wow. Way to use a BS technicality to hassle a Catholic High School, Madison.

Edgewood High School was evaluating its options, including possible legal action, a day after Madison’s Zoning Board of Appeals decided the school’s athletic teams can no longer do something they have been doing for more than 90 years: Play games on the school’s athletic field.

School President Michael Elliott said Edgewood officials are “incredibly disappointed” after the board voted 4-0 late Thursday to affirm that the school’s master plan allows for only physical-education classes and practices — but not games or matches against other schools — at the school’s Goodman Athletic Complex.


Thursday’s decision hinged on wording in the school’s 2014 master plan that describes the intended use of the field as being for athletic practices and gym classes — without mentioning competitions.

Tucker said that within the plan, the school is required to explain the intended use of any space. Any uses that are not covered need additional approval from the city’s Plan Commission. Since competitions are not specified in the plan, Tucker said, the school needs to go through this approval process.

But Edgewood attorney Matt Lee and two other attorneys arguing on Edgewood’s behalf said there are other areas of the master plan that explain the space was meant for competitions.

In UW-Madison’s master plan, Lee said, the Natatorium and Goodman Softball Complex are both zoned recreational. He said the facilities host swim meets and competitive softball games, respectively.

Lee also noted that “classes and practices” was not meant to be an exhaustive list of all activities on the field.

Board members disagreed.

Madison to Fine Businesses for Leaving Doors Open

Do you begin to see how the Global Warming/Climate Change jihad is all about controlling people? It can be used as justification for all sorts of Nanny State lunacy.

Madison businesses that leave their doors or windows open too long while running air conditioners could be fined under an ordinance to be introduced next week in the local fight against climate change.

Except in emergencies or when people or goods are going into or out of a business, “it shall be unlawful to keep open any door or window of a building or structure with a commercial use while an air conditioner is operating,” according to the proposed ordinance authored by Ald. Ledell Zellers, 2nd District.

The fine for a first-offense fine would be $50, rising to $100 for a second offense. Any third or subsequent offenses would cost $250, and “each day or portion thereof such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense,” the ordinance says.

Madison Pulls Plug on Internet Scheme


A pilot program meant to bring internet access to four low-income Madison neighborhoods has ended after a second call for proposals to manage it went unanswered. The city severed ties with the local company originally implementing the project earlier this year.

Madison-based ResTech Services had been working to build a fiber-optic broadband network in Darbo-Worthington, Brentwood, Allied Drive and Kennedy Heights neighborhoods through the program, called Connecting Madison. The city and ResTech signed a $512,000 contract in March 2016.

However, the implementation process was slow and ultimately ended with the city sending a “cease and desist” letter to ResTech. The city is still working to resolve the matter, Assistant City Attorney Roger Allen said this week.

The city issued a second request for proposals April 12 to find a company that would operate the infrastructure in place as a continuous program but did not receive any responses by the May 25 deadline.

So the city spent half-a-million tax dollars to give 19 people cheap internet even though there are several private market options for those folks. And what did the city leaders learn from this debacle? They didn’t spend enough:

Edgerton said the outcome of Connecting Madison illustrated that the program needed more vetting of the vendor, dedicated staff to work with the vendor and funds to market the program.

 Yes, if only they had spent more to have dedicated city staff working with the vendor and a marketing program, it would have worked.
Stories like this are why people like me roll their eyes when governments whine about not having enough money.

Madisonians Fail to Register Bikes

And they think a gun registry will work?

In a city with a biking culture so vibrant it’s one of only five American communities to have achieved, in 2015, “platinum” status for bike-friendliness from the League of American Bicyclists, not even the people who control and influence city policies on bicycling bother to register their bikes.

Current, former mayors missing

Absent from the list of about 9,700 people who own one or more of the 13,982 currently registered bicycles in Madison are 19 members of the 20-member City Council, Mayor Paul Soglin and both “bicycle advocate” appointees to the city’s Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission, Grant Foster and Aaron Crandall.

Also missing: Dave Cieslewicz, the former Madison mayor who pushed for Madison to achieve platinum status and started the Ride the Drive event, in which a couple of major arteries are closed to vehicle traffic and opened to bicyclists. After leaving the mayor’s office, Cieslewicz served as executive director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed for four years.

He did not respond to requests for comment.

Foster, who also did not respond to requests for comment, is president of the local bicycling advocacy group Madison Bikes. Of the 17 current and former board members listed on the group’s website, only four showed up on the registry.

Although I think this was my favorite “duh” comment in the article.

Madison police officer Howard Payne acknowledged that recovering stolen bikes is not as high a priority as, say, investigating violent crime, and that bicycles stolen as part of larger burglaries will probably get more attention than bicycles stolen by themselves.



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