Dozens of people voiced their opinions at a Madison Common Council meeting Tuesday night, speaking out about a petition in support of the Madison Police Department. The public comments follow a petition that was filed by a group that supports the department.
Petitioners believe that rhetorical attacks on the police department should stop, and that a $400,000 study of the department should be rescinded.
A number of MPD officers also showed up and spoke to show that they want to bridge the divide that many say Madison is experiencing.
“I sincerely hope that everyone involved in these discussions can avoid the ‘us against them’ mentality that is so easy to slip into when you care passionately about something,” said Dan Frei, president of the Madison Professional Police Officers Association.
Others who attended the meeting believe changes need to be made.
“We’re not calling for community policing, we’re calling for community control of the police,” explained T. Parks, “There has been a lot of racist rhetoric that has been spewed from the mouths of people here talking about the people on the west side that make poor choices, that there is a silent majority, and that the people that are calling for community control of the police are basically just whistle-blowing and not having any truth to it.”
The petition will be referred to the office of Mayor Paul Soglin.