Madison’s Police Chief Mike Koval announced his retirement in a blog post Sunday.
The announcement comes five years into Koval’s tenure as Chief. Sworn in April 2014, Koval made it one of his priorities to change the image of the police in Madison from that of “warriors” to “guardians.”
“I did my best to be a guardian to the community and a guardian to the ‘guardians’ (cops),” Kovall said in the post. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community. Each day, I resolved to do my level best to keep [Madison] a safe place to live, work, and play for everyone.”
Assistant Chief Vic Wahl will be interim Chief of Police effective Monday, until the Police and Fire Commission conducts a hiring process alongside Assistant Chief John Patterson and Assistant Chief Paige Valenta. Koval called the trio a “dream team.”
Koval joined MPD in 1983 and took on the role of police chief after approximately three decades with the department. Aside from two years with the FBI, he has spent his whole career in Madison with the department.
“To my MPD Family, in spite of all the odds, the trials, the tribulations — stay strong,” Koval said. “You are a legacy of guardians who care and care deeply about the best possible resolutions in the outcomes of those who are manifesting desperate acts under desperate circumstances.”
Koval also offered words to the citizens of Madison, asking that they “blame” him for the missteps or disappointments of the department.
“To the community, MPD is trying, with a sense of urgency and purpose, to earn your trust and to work cooperatively in addressing the issues of our day,” Koval stated. “I am sorry if I said or did anything which caused you to question these motives or the authentic desires of MPD to be relational partners moving forward.”