‘It is critical’: Madison Police Department seeking community feedback for long-term policing strategy

MADISON, Wis. — A leader in community and problem-oriented policing. That’s what Madison Police Captain Matt Tye believes his department has been over the years.

“But the nation has been I think grappling with what exactly we are looking for from our police departments,” he said.

That’s why the Madison Police Department has decided to create a long-term strategic plan focused on how the next five to seven years of policing in Madison look.

It’s far more than just an internal review, Tye said; instead, it involves hearing from the people of Madison, whom officers are sworn to protect and serve.

“It is critical to have the community involved in those conversations and really leading what it is we want out of policing,” Tye said.

Throughout the month of April, Madison police will be conducting a virtual meeting for each district within the department. At each meeting, community members will get their chance to share their thoughts on topics ranging from community trust and the role of police to crime and safety.

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District 6 Alder Brian Benford is in favor of the idea.

“The sincere desire to hear out the community’s insights, concerns, questions, input, I think that’s vitally important,” he said.

Madison Police Officer Lu Senatus agrees.

“I’m a cop, but I want people to let me know how they want to be policed,” Senatus said.

The goal is to work together to make the city a better place to live and work.

“To have that open and honest dialogue… I don’t want to be the big baddie that just comes around when things are going wrong,” Senatus said.

MPD will host virtual meetings for each district throughout April. Those looking to participate in the meetings need to register by clicking here.

The meetings for each district are as follows:

  • North District: April 4, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • East District: April 5, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m
  • Central District: April 7, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • West District: April 11, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Midtown District: April 12, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • South District: April 13, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.