Five “shots fired” calls. Two robberies where a gun was used. All of these instances occurred in Madison Monday night.
As gun violence continues to increase in the city, Madison Police Department Chief Mike Koval held a news conference to address citizens’ concerns.
Some of the incidents Koval highlighted included bullets being fired near Turbot Drive on the southern side of Madison and a bullet almost hitting a six-year-old girl in her home. Given the urgency of the situation, Koval said there may be a need for a larger police force to combat the “large-city problems” Madison is facing.
The high volume of gun violence incidents Monday night occurred in a “rapid fire” manner, Koval said. This made it difficult for the MPD to take care of other cases, which also deserved similar levels of attention.
Koval said he has not experienced anything like this in his time as a police officer.
“Today I had management team — and there are people just as old as me — and nobody else can summon up a memory that would suggest we’re seeing things with this sense of urgency,” Koval said.
Madison has become a big city and is no longer immune to instances people see happening around the country in places like Chicago, Koval said.
Koval said there have been 48 “shots fired” incidents and 64 robberies in Madison since the beginning of 2017. And said he isn’t sure the city has seen the worst of these incidents yet.
“We need to have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment here where this city gets a grip on the realities of what this department has had to contend with,” Koval said.
Moving forward, Koval said it is necessary people talk with community activists, people who are in denial and those who set priorities for public policy and implore them to help address the issue of gun violence in the city.
Community leaders, residents present plan to reduce racial disparities, violence in Madison“When does the suffering stop?” Community leader Minister Caliph Muab’El asked City Council members and officials this question Tuesday evening Read…
While Koval said they cannot rule out the possibility that some of the crimes may be connected, he added they are mostly looking like stand-alone incidents. He said they also do not want to develop “tunnel vision” by thinking in only certain ways when they are investigating the cases.
No one — including University of Wisconsin students — is immune to these types of incidents, Koval said.
“I think we’re all in this together,” Koval said. “No one gets a pass. Everybody’s got a part to play and an awareness that has to be brought to bear.”