Koval’s long blog post — posted on Sunday afternoon and written in a tone that was often sarcastic, frustrated and incredulous — reiterated that he didn’t fear the review, while making it clear he thought its expanded price tag was a waste....Bidar-Sielaff seems to be addressing the question whether the "perpetually offended" are a small group, not whether she's catering to the perpetually offended. Koval accused Bidar-Sielaff, et al., "currying favor with a small group of people who protest/blog/criticize the MPD at every turn." He said this "small group" has an "incredible grip on this City" and can "dictate agendas" because "no one dares to raise a voice lest they be marginalized in the PC world of Madison."
Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, the lead sponsor of the resolution... took particular issue with Koval’s assertion that the review was being funded to cater to a small but vocal group of “perpetually offended” Madisonians.
“You have to be tone deaf in this community to think that, in this community and nationally, the issue of trust with law enforcement is an issue of a few people. It is not,” Bidar-Sielaff said. “There is not a room you can walk into in this community — specifically in communities of color — where that is not a conversation.”
Bidar-Sielaff, of course, doesn't speak of herself as accepting dictation from people she's afraid of. She speaks of listening to "conversation," and her response to Koval is couched in terms of his failure to proceed conversationally:
“If Chief Koval would like to have a conversation, I am certainly open to it. I think all my colleagues are open to it,” [Bidar-Sielaff] said. “I don’t think anybody can have productive conversations by firing blogs on Sunday afternoons with the kind of adversarial language that he uses.”How awful to expect people to be ready to respond on a Sunday afternoon! How would a man in charge of the police get such an idea?
Oh, I'm being sarcastic. I think Koval probably didn't expect Bidar-Sielaff, et al., to interrupt their Sunday afternoon to take government spending and police work seriously. In fact, Sunday afternoon is a good time to post things that you want to be discussed when the work week begins on Monday morning. And the vote is scheduled for Tuesday. It seems to me that Koval picked an appropriate time. The real objection seems to be that Koval is fighting hard for respect for his police department, which is getting blamed for racial disparities that he believes are not caused by the police.
Here's a paragraph from his blog post that isn't quoted in the newspaper article:
[Madison Police Department] is intent on creating, supporting, and supplementing the kinds of programs and partnerships that attempt to drill down on societal problems that can manifest on our streets as desperate acts by desperate individuals. Policing IS a form of social work and we are eager to expand our outreach and engagement activities. But at the end of the day, the police are ill-equipped to be the primary source of parenting and educating our kids, job creation, providing affordable housing, dealing with issues of homelessness or drug abuse. Certainly, we will do our level best to complement (not replace) families, schools, churches, neighborhoods, not-for-profits, and social service providers in meeting the challenges that lay before our City; but if nothing changes on these various fronts, I dare say that a pristine, "model" police department trying to do everything within our statutory power(s), will STILL have statistics that reflect racial disparities.UPDATE: The Council voted, 19-1, to spend the money.