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Police and Fire Commission slated to discuss report findings

Madison’s Police and Fire Commission will discuss next steps Monday regarding recommendations for the MPD following a city-funded report on the department. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger and Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The Madison Police and Fire Commision plans to discuss next steps for the Madison Police Department Monday night after a city-funded report found areas of improvement for the department.

The report, conducted by the OIR Group, was published last December and included nearly 150 recommendations for the department. In January, the department, as well as the city attorney, released their response to each recommendation.

According to the department’s responses, some of the more contentious recommendations had to do with the implementation of a citizen review board and the handling of officer-involved critical incidents.

The report advised the department to receive a written statement from officers associated with an OICI before being released from their shift. However, the city attorney’s office had concerns with that process.

“Because officers involved in a critical incident can face criminal prosecution for their actions, it would be a violation of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to compel a statement after a critical incident,” the attorney’s office wrote in the statement. “Therefore, any attempt by MPD to obtain an officer’s statement prior to [Department of Criminal Investigations] arriving on the scene could adversely impact the District Attorney’s ability to prosecute a criminal case against the officer(s).”

As it pertained to a civilian review body, MPD Chief Michael Koval said the department would be more than willing to support such a project but warned it would likely cost additional money.

Matthew Braunginn, co-founder of the organization Young, Gifted and Black and a member of MPD’s Policy and Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee was skeptical of the chief’s fiscal tentativeness.

“To me it’s completely hypocritical to put cost as a concern when MPD doesn’t put cost as a concern for its own budget,” he told The Daily Cardinal in February.

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