Madison Police Unveil Plan To Reduce Violent Crimes, Burglaries

Initiative Doesn't Address Demands Of Coalition Calling For Fewer Police In Black Neighborhoods

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval unveiling the department's new plan on Tuesday. Photo: Gilman Halsted/WPR.

The Madison Police Department is launching a new initiative to tackle violent crime and reduce burglaries in the city.

The plan won’t address the demands of the Young, Gifted and Black coalition, which is calling for fewer police in black neighborhoods. Police Chief Michael Koval said the new focus on violent crimes and burglaries won’t reduce the number of police in any neighborhoods because it’s focused on investigating crimes, not patrolling the streets.

Young Gifted and Black has accused police of fishing for drug arrests in black neighborhoods. But Chief Koval says that’s not where negative interactions with the police take place.

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“At the malls, at the bus transfer spots at the schools — that’s where our biggest numbers are. It’s not in the neighborhoods. But the players can be traced back to the neighborhoods. They’re just not acting out in that domain,” said Koval.

Koval said he won’t cut back on neighborhood policing, and said he’s ready to sit down and talk with his critics about how to improve relations with the black community.