Madison Professional Police Officers’ Association, Madison’s police union, approved a vote of no confidence in Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s leadership abilities Monday — the police union cited concerns over the mayor’s ability to support MPD and unite the community. 

MPPOA said they had an overwhelming majority approve the statement of no confidence in a press release Monday.

MMPOA voted after a meeting with Rhodes-Conway, in which she denied their request to facilitate meetings between MPD and community members.

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Additionally, the union said Rhodes-Conway is quick to point out MPD’s mistakes and shortfalls rather than working to fix systemic problems within the department. 

“This unhealthy portrayal of the Madison Police Department perpetuates an ‘us versus them’ dichotomy in our community,” the MPPOA press release said. “We would never ask the mayor to ignore our inadequacies. In fact, we call for a leader who is committed to rolling up her sleeves, diving in and working with us on systematic improvements rather than separating herself from us and further dividing our community.”

MPPOA said that while they supported Rhodes-Conway’s candidacy, the way Rhodes-Conway has led the city is different from what they were promised and have called her previous conversations with them “misleading.” 

Rhodes-Conway responded in a statement Monday saying the vote is divisive and that everyone needs to work together to better the community. 

“When I met with MPPOA on July 7, I asked them not to rest on their past successes, but to be leaders in their field by reimagining what policing needs to be to meet the needs of our entire community,” Rhodes-Conway said. “I asked them how they can embrace change in the spirit of serving our community. I have yet to hear a response and based on their statement today, I must assume that they are unwilling to embrace change.” 

The MMPPOA’s statement follows former-Republican state assembly candidate Jon Rygiewicz’s effort to recall Rhodes-Conway from office. Rygiewicz filed a petition with the city July 8 to begin circulating petitions for a recall election for Rhodes-Conway, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

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Rygiewicz has until September to get the 36,203 signatures needed to force Rhodes-Conway to run in a recall election before the end of her term. 

According to WSJ, Rygiewicz said Rhodes-Conway should be removed from office for failing to keep the city safe during protests.

Urban Triage said in a statement on Facebook July 4, that they do not support the recall effort because it supports a “pro-police agenda.” While Rhodes-Conway received backlash from many activists following a video supporting police during city-wide protests against police brutality, Urban Triage said in their statement that Rhodes-Conway is working to correct her mistakes.