Growing up in Milwaukee, Noble Wray remembers seeing a police officer "batter a guy" during civil rights protests there; but he also knew some good cops, including relatives, "so I could reconcile some."
Wray's parents doubtless had high expectations, given the name they chose for him, and he has lived up to them. Hired by David Couper in 1984, he rose steadily up the ranks: neighborhood beat cop, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and, in 2004, chief of police.
Though the MPD has not always lived up to its highest ideals, Wray has provided steady leadership that's been a good fit for Madison: thoughtful, flexible, mindful of community values. He's won the respect of his department and the public - a difficult balance, one that shows his ability to reconcile.