Police Talking Points

Did you know this about MPD?

02.15.21 The Common Council is poised to discuss banning “tear gas” at its next meeting on February 23. This was the recommendation of the Public Safety Review Committee after its most recent meeting, with no discussion on alternatives to tear gas. 

Over 30 years, tear gas has been used only 11 times in Madison, just twice in the context of crowd control. Once in 2002 at Freak Fest when the crowd became violent and aggressive, and then during parts of 3 days late May/early June when the crowd turned violent following peaceful protests of police brutality following George Floyd’s killing. This incident is under independent review by The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, at the request of MPD.

The 9 other times that tear gas was used in the past 30 years was to bring out barricaded subjects who posed a safety threat to self or others.

Former Acting Chief Victor Wahl’s Tear Gas Report explains why MPD considers CS (“tear gas”) the safest tool in these situations.

We taxpayers expect our police to provide safety and security. We need to consider what tools they need to accomplish what we’re asking them to do. After Milwaukee banned tear gas, more than 100 police agencies withdrew their offered help with security at the DNC last August (which was later canceled due to covid concerns).

Common Council will likely discuss banning tear gas at its next meeting on February 23. Consider making your voice heard by speaking at the meeting and/or emailing allalders@cityofmadison.com

MaraForAlder Committee, Bonnie Roe Committee Member

02.08.21 In 2020, MPD received 181,263 calls for service. Some of those calls for service were removed from the numbers in the Use of Force chart in the report because that broad number of Calls for Service includes anything that generates a case number through the dispatch center, including instances where non-sworn MPD employees are handling parking enforcement complaints or other duties that do not involve interaction between officers and members of the public. So those calls for service (which would have reflected a lower percentage of Use of Force) have been taken out to more accurately reflect that percentage. 

In Quarter 1, 0.25% of calls for service involved any use of force

In Quarter 2, 0.17% of calls for service involved any use of force

In Quarter 3, 0.16% of calls for service involved any use of force

In Quarter 4, 0.12% of calls for service involved any use of force

It is important to note that this is all use of force, not just unauthorized or excessive use of force, but any time any force was used.

You can see breakdowns of every kind in this very detailed report. 

Thank You Bonnie Roe for providing this post.