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Incoming Madison Police Chief Faces Worn Rhetoric

December 10, 2020

It was not unexpected news, of course. But it was still dismaying to learn about as this chaotic year comes to a close.

The four finalists to become the new Madison Police Chief are becoming better known as the hiring process moves along to a conclusion. As the varying resumes are considered, and the policing practices of the four men are examined, comes the start of the usual verbal rhetoric from the ‘one note’ crowd in our city.

The Wisconsin State Journal published a news article today that underscored the desire of some to be perpetually (and willfully) upset by anything related to our local law enforcement.

During a Wednesday evening meeting, several people sharply criticized the PFC for what they called an undemocratic selection process, citing a cumbersome signup process to speak, minimal time to review the taped interviews before the meeting and no opportunities for community members to directly ask finalists questions.

“It’s disappointing to have an ineffective body who is not listening to the citizens,” said Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores. “For it to not be a process in which the community is truly involved in an equitable fashion is disgusting.

Had Kilfoy-Flores held her verbal taunts and listened more she might have come to understand what the newspaper reported from the meeting.

All the candidates said fear between police and the community can be broken down with engagement.

It goes without saying that the opposite of that last sentence is also true. When the pot-stirrers ramp up the rhetoric, make baseless charges, impune the process so that any outcome seems tainted means they never then need to act seriously or with any modicum of maturity to solve problems. That is why there is a continuing effort to attack every aspect of our police department.

When serious dialogue is allowed there is a greater opportunity to have resolutions to issues. But to get to that level of conversation requires the absence of the only skill-set that some bring to the table. That being a pot-stirrer.

It is sad on one hand, and so typical on the other to see that one can only get included in a news story with baseless accusations of the type reported today.

For the record, the process of choosing our next police chief is being done properly, openly, and in a process-driven manner. Any attempt to smear the process is just worn-out rhetoric.

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