Host Stu Levitan welcomes Madison Police Chief Noble Wray to the November episode of "Access: City Hall." While statistics show a continued decline in most crimes, some Madison neighborhoods are experiencing increases, and some types of crime seem to be on the rise throughout the city.
Chief Wray will talk about the statistics as well as perceptions of criminal activity in Madison. He'll also discuss the upcoming Halloween festivities, the high-profile homicides of recent years, and how additional police officers will be assigned.
Two years ago, almost to the date, Isthmus writer Nathan Comp profiled the Chief for a cover story. A lot has happened since then, including calls for a stronger police presence on the southwest side and concerns for "water balloon" policies that squeeze the criminal element out of one part of the city only to see it emerge in another.
In Comp's profile, Wray considered the police department of the future:
Effective leaders have vision. Successful managers know how to achieve change. Wray aspires to be both. He envisions a time when the way policing is done in Madison and Dane County will be radically different. With police agencies across the board reeling from budget constraints, Wray is pushing to establish a metro police force, which would break down the county's jurisdictional lines.
"We need to have a plan for how we're going to share resources," he says. "I think that needs to take place soon. If it does not take place, this issue is going to end up all over the map."
Clear obstacles, like rivalries between the urban and rural departments, stand in the way of such a revamping, but [Madison Mayor Dave] Cieslewicz believes Wray can make it happen.
"Regionalism is the wave of the future," says the mayor. "Budget pressures are actually going to work in our favor. People are going to look around and ask, 'How can we get the most bang for our buck?'"
New topics will be featured every month on Access: City Hall, and viewer are encouraged to share their thoughts and questions on The Forum.