The Madison Police Department is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the leaders in community-based policing where officers are all recognized as leaders and encouraged to be problem-solving guardians. In these podcasts the chief talks about policing the Madison way while addressing topical issues.
Time to say goodbye/MPD’s Public Information Officer readies for retirement
After more than 13 years, and four police chiefs, MPD PIO Joel DeSpain has decided to call it a career at the end of the year. In the podcast, Chief Victor Wahl turns the tables, acting DeSpain about the trials and tribulations of dispensing information. DeSpain, a former journalist, talks about the transition from reporter to news source, and how both of his chosen professions have drastically changed.
Madison’s next police chief/an insider’s perspective
The MPD will be getting a new police chief, possibly by the end of the year, and the selection process turns out to be very unique in Wisconsin. On the podcast, Acting Chief Victor Wahl provides insight into how state leaders have tried to keep politics out police chief picks. He also lets us know where the process stands right now, and what qualities the new chief should possess to be successful in Madison.
Pending budget cuts and public safety
The Madison Police Department, for decades, has been looked at as one of the best in the country with highly-trained officers committed to community-based and problem-solving policing. However, in the face of very tight budgets, and calls by some to defund the police, the future of policing Madison style is in limbo. In this podcast Chief Vic Wahl talks about potential cuts, what MPD units might be impacted, and what this all could mean for public safety.
Civil Unrest Investigation
The MPD is one of the first departments in the country to ask for an outside group to examine and review its response to recent protests. The MPD has come under scrutiny from critics about its handling of this year’s ongoing civil unrest. Chief Vic Wahl has now asked the University of Pennsylvania Law School's Quattrone Center, which works on initiatives to improve the criminal justice system, to study the MPD’s handling of protests. In this podcast, Chief Wahl talks about his view of the protests and the hopes he has for upcoming review.
All about the Money
Presidential candidates, homicides, protests, will all impact the MPD’s bottom-line this year. As they do so at a time when money is needed for more police officers, if the MPD is to provide the same level of service expected by Madison community. It is very hard to budget for what you do not know, and many might be surprised at some of the non-discretionary items already contained in the $82 million budget. MPD Finance Manager Teague Mawer provides insight into what’s behind the numbers. We also hear from Acting Chief Vic Wahl about financial challenges ahead, particularly with the pending annexation of the Town of Madison, and the increasing need for a new North District station.
At a time when those applying to be police officers is on the decline nationally, the MPD is bucking the trend. Numbers of applicants are up this year, with many indicating they are applying nowhere else. Some got in the MPD pipeline as teenage explorers, others as college interns. In this podcast Capt. Lori Chalecki, a former explorer and intern herself, talks about the department’s new Public Safety Cadet program, and how it is now helping bolster the MPD ranks. Acting Chief Vic Wahl, a former MPD intern, and MPD Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain, who coordinates the MPD’s internship program, join the conversation about what’s going right in recruitment.
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Love the content and topics discussed. Helps me appreciate the MPD. So thanks for doing this.