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Madison Police Department Deserves A Major Thank You

June 16, 2015

UPDATEReaction in Marquette Neighborhood to police force used in drug arrest.

There comes a time when the most appropriate thing to do is simply to say thank you. Following the professional actions of the Madison Police Department Tuesday afternoon while conducting the execution of a warrant on the near East Side this seems like the time to offer a sincere expression of how I feel to the men and women in blue.

I must say there is something dizzying to be mowing the lawn while zoned out from the music playing in the headphones, turn to start another cut on the lawn, look up and see four SWAT team members in full uniform carrying heavy duty weapons only a few yards away.  They stood on our terrace under a honey locust, and I must have looked totally dumfounded. My hands came off the handle, the engine stopped, and one of them simply stated, “You are fine.”

I then noticed that in just mere seconds the entire block where I lived had been transformed into something that plays out on the big screen at the theater.  A van that looked nondescript opened from the back and a number of fellow SWAT team members deployed. An ambulance pulled up in the intersection, a whole array of police cars cordoned off the area, and down at the next intersection an armored personnel carrier type vehicle quickly moved to where I instantly knew the action was taking place.  The drug activity and raid today was outlined in the Willy Street Blog.

Months ago my neighborhood decided that the recent turn of events that resulted in a drug house being set up was not going to remain a problem. Not in our neighborhood. A number of calls were made with all sorts of information to the Madison Police and a steady and escalating investigation resulted in the obtaining of a search warrant. Given the dangerous nature of the person who was targeted for arrest meant that the police required the use of assets that allowed them to do their job, keep the neighborhood safe, and make sure that every member of the team was able to go home safe and sound to their families.

The arrest was made while some in the area, such as me, watched with fascination at the skilled officers who went about their tasks. Many hours later police still were at work as a car that was determined to be of interest was stripped apart on our street while a drug sniffing dog went going about it with keen interest.

I have nothing but praise for the police who listened and cared over the past months about the concerns this neighborhood raised about drugs being sold here.   Several times today an officer would walk over to assembled groups of people and explain what was happening, answer questions, and remove reasons to be concerned.  Time and again Madison police have worked to make sure what we said was heard, and also allow us knowledge into how the matter would be handled.

As this day comes to a close I can honestly say I have never been closer to the action that the police undertake in their jobs. I am just fine seeing this stuff play out in the movies instead of for real. But also as this night begins to fall on our neighborhood I can honestly say I have never been more proud of the folks who put on the badge every day and work to make sure the kids on my block are protected, the WWII vet can walk his dog in safety, or the young college grad students who work late night jobs can come home to a secure neighborhood.

Over the past months too many in this city have unfairly lambasted the police.   It is always easy to make snide comments from the sidelines.  But when seeing the professional work they do, and the risks they take to make our city safe and one where we want to live underscores why we all should say thanks to the next police officer that we meet.

I said thanks to a number of them today, and even got cold water for one to drink. Tomorrow it will be some other place in the city where they will make an impact but for me I am glad they addressed the concerns here and played a part in cleaning up the streets.

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  1. Drug Raid on Jenifer Street | Willy Street Blog

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