1972 to 1993 did not shake up the department so much as reinvent it, into one of the most progressive in the land. He adorned his office with portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., squeezed out the department's old guard and raised the bar for new recruits, brought in women and minorities, and made Madison a national model for community policing.
Couper's influence on the department is still being felt, despite the regressive era ushered in by his immediate successor, Richard Williams. Much of the MPD's current upper ranks, including Chief Noble Wray, were hired and inspired by him.
When Couper retired, it was to become a minister, a job he still holds. That this seems a logical transition is a testament to how remarkable a figure he was and is.