Madison Police Department hosts pop-up pride event

MADISON, Wis. — Members of the Madison Police Department connected with local families by hosting a pop-up pride event at the entrance of the Henry Vilas Zoo Wednesday morning.

Pride flags, treats, pinwheels, and stickers were all part of the event. Kids ran over to MPD’s booth to talk to officers about why they were there and to get their treats.

Madison police officer Nicole Schmitgen talked about how encounters with children can be a bit more challenging but is thankful for understanding parents.

 “I think with kids it’s a little different, you know, maybe they don’t understand the meaning of Pride Month quite yet. Certainly, the parents being able to come up with them and feel comfortable doing that is really important for us,” Schmitgen said.

MPD hopes to host similar events like this in the future to bring more attention to the LGBTQ+ community as well as gain more engagement with the community.

 “I think it opens a door for open conversation, and that’s our goal: to show that members of MPD are members of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s not always obvious or known, and to ask those questions, have that open conversation, learn how we as officers can serve that community better as well,” Schmitgen said.

For more on Madison’s outreach to the community, visit this site.

Madison’s LGBTQ+ Outreach will also be hosting its 4th annual Magic Pride Festival later in August in hopes of creating an environment for the LGBTQ+ community.

To see a list of events happening in your area or to submit an event, visit the Channel 3000/Madison Magazine Community Calendar here.