Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Student to create police advisory board

After a failed attempt, the creation of a public group to advise UW-Madison and city police on alcohol and student safety issues is being discussed. The police advisory board would be comprised of voluntary students, administrators and state and city officials.

Daniel Donoghue, member of the Shared Governance Committee of the Associated Students of Madison, is spearheading the project, which he says is progressing rapidly.

“Everyone I’ve talked to thinks it’s a really good idea and wants to get involved,” Donoghue said.

Donoghue said some of board’s goals are to evaluate and monitor programs of the University Police, to consult with committees concerned with student safety and alcohol related issues and to advise the chief of University Police on priorities for programs.

The idea of a police advisory board is not new; it has taken on an array of different forms for decades. Last year the project took off successfully but fell apart soon after its creation, allegedly after the departure of John Torphy, UW Vice-Chair of Administration.

This year the board is said to be trying to encompass more aspects of student safety like providing police with an informant network and providing students with more opportunities to voice concerns about police and student misconduct.

Donoghue said he became inspired to re-form the committee out of personal frustration with Madison law enforcement.

“I got upset being at bars and seeing seven or eight cops busting kids for fake IDs,” Donoghue recalled. “I’ve had a couple of friends sexually assaulted on the street when all the cops are at bars.”

Since then, Donoghue has been on a mission to convince local authorities that there is a need for a forum in which students hold police accountable for their actions.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, supports the plan, and he said the city police department is behind the idea as well.

“The Madison Police Department is enthusiastic,” Verveer said. “They’re ready to make this happen and make it a ‘go.'”

However, Captain Dale Burke of the UW Police Department said he is not convinced of the need for such a board.

“We’re willing to try these things, but sometimes we learn they are not effective,” Burke said. “They don’t do anything to further our goals, which are to prevent the crimes from happening in the first place.”

Burke said there are already about twenty campus groups who deal with safety, such as SAFE Walk and the Bike Pedestrian Committee.

“It doesn’t make sense to form a group that is in competition with another committee or task force,” Burke said.

However, the captain affirmed he would attend an informational session on April 8 and make a judgment at that time.

“We certainly appreciate feedback, but on the other hand it doesn’t serve any useful purpose for us to get up there and have people gripe about getting tickets,” Burke said.

Verveer said he was baffled by this response.

“I don’t see why the two police departments would not be excited to have input from this big chunk of the community,” he said.

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