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Finance Commitee Approves Funding For Police-Oversight Position

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MADISON, Wis. – The Madison Finance Committee has approved funding for a new police-oversight position in the 2020 Operating Budget.

The position was the primary recommendation of the Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee that’s been meeting and analyzing police policy for the last four years.

To make room in the budget, finance committee members considered removing funding for the position at its meeting Monday, which drew dozens of members of the public both for and against the proposal.

Matthew Braunginn served on the ad hoc committee, and he said he found the amendment that would remove funding for the position “kind of insulting.”

“This is explicitly about making sure that these recommendations we’re putting forward are not just implemented correctly but are seen through,” he said during the public comment period. “MPD can constantly improve its policies and procedures and can constantly improve how to interact with the community and can create an easier entryway for community members when it comes to engaging with MPD and any issues that it’s facing.”

Those against the independent police monitor said it is a professional police critic.

“Our police officers should and do feel offended,” said David Blaska. “They’ve told me so.”
Instead, Blaska said the committee should fund more police officers, which was up for discussion.

There were three options to approve more police officers – three, six or 12 – in the 2020 budget, ranging in cost from $168,000 to $671,700.