The Madison City Council expressed their support to transfer the Parking Enforcement Unit from the Madison Police Department to Parking Utility during a meeting Tuesday night.
Member of the Public Safety Review Committee Matthew Mitnick said the committee had recommended the idea after the council initially referred the legislation to them.
“I was really happy to see them listen to us about this and I feel like this general decision that the council took last night was needed,” Mitnick said.
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Employees of the Parking Enforcement Unit spoke against the transfer during the Tuesday meeting.
Several employees were worried about safety for themselves and their colleagues without having the opportunity to have support from the police department.
“I do not know one person that is in support of this move,” parking enforcement employee Aileen Seymour said. “It’s more of the relationship we are able to establish by being in close proximity with the police department.”
Other community members shared their opinions as to why they were in favor of the proposal during the member with several people saying the transfer to the Parking Utility is a step in the right direction for police reform.
Several also stated that there is no reason for the Parking Enforcement Unit to be a part of the Madison Police Department. Soren Underdahl, a community member, said the transfer is a small step in the right direction.
“We need to continue to shift all responsibility, personnel equipment and financial resources away from MPD when it comes to traffic, non-dangerous enforcement,” Underdahl said.
Mitnick said the Parking Enforcement Unit employees should listen to the community. Specifically, employees should be listening to those who have different experiences with these institutions.
“It’s a systemic issue that goes far beyond what one parking enforcement officer’s sense of security is in their job,” Mitnick said.
This article was updated April 22 at 4:23 p.m. to clarify the legislation did not originate in the Public Safety Review Committee.