What You Missed: News Round-up 5-10-21

by Safety Connection
  • The Wisconsin State Journal reported this week that “The state’s Republican-controlled budget committee on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to expand the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center on Madison’s North Side, a plan lawmakers say will hasten closure of the embattled Lincoln Hills youth prison and provide mental health treatment to troubled teens.” The move would allow the facility to expand to provide 59 beds for juvenile boys and add beds (20) for juvenile girls for the first time.
  • “The purchase of the Zeier Road property is being shoved at us. Not because it is the best location or best choice. The rationale seems to be that it is available for sale….Why not invest the time to get it right.” Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney made those comments in a statement she released after the Common Council rejected the 2002 Zeier Road location for a permanent men’s homeless shelter at the council meeting on Tuesday. The five alders who voted no (Abbas, Carter, Halverson, Harrington-McKinney and Myadze) all expressed support for a homeless shelter, but in a better location where users would have more access to downtown services (including the Beacon). Council President Syed Abbas said in a statement that “our homeless community deserves better” and he proposes the city purchase the Hooper Corporation building that will be for sale later this year in his district.
  • Several notable shots fired incidents occurred on Madison streets this week. During the Thursday (5/6) morning rush hour, a man wanted for attempted homicide was fleeing police in a vehicle when he was stopped by road spikes. He got out of the vehicle and put a gun in his mouth and tried to pull the trigger while walking backwards facing police (police later reported that he was unable to disengage the safety). He eventually threw the gun in the median and that’s when police released a K9. The man fought with the K9 until officers were able to deploy a taser and take him safely into custody (he did not sustain any serious injuries). He said to police, “Why couldn’t you have shot me? I wish y’all would’ve just mixed up your gun for your taser.” Assistant Chief Wahl told the Wisconsin State Journal that the man’s “arrest is also one manifestation of the additional de-escalation training police have been given in recent years.”
  • The second shots fired incident on Thursday (5/6) occurred just after 12:30pm. Madison Police say a road rage incident led to a shooting on the Beltline near Whitney Way. The driver’s father told Ch 27 news that his son was okay but that a passenger in his son’s vehicle suffered injuries and was taken to the hospital. Madison Police closed a section of the Beltline for part of the afternoon so officers and a K9 could search for shell casings.
  • Five shell casings were found after callers reported a shots fired incident on Mesta Lane near Commercial Avenue on Friday evening (5/7). Then just before 4am on Saturday (5/8) morning, a woman was turning from South Gammon Road onto Mineral Point Road when she heard what sounded like fireworks. She pulled into a gas station to inspect her vehicle and that ‘s when she discovered it had been struck by a bullet.
  • If you purchased a Kidde smoke detector within the last 18 months, you may want to check the model number. This week the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall for certain Kidde models purchased between May 2019 and September 2020.
  • On Friday (5/7) the annual Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony was held at the Capitol to honor Wisconsin police officers who have died in the line of duty. Due to the pandemic the ceremony was canceled last year, so this year’s ceremony included an honor roll for fallen officers for both 2020 and 2021. Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Treadwell became the 285th name to be added to the monument. He passed away from COVID-19 in August of 2020. Retiring Sheriff Dave Mahoney told NBC15 News “We never know whether, when we put on the uniform and put on the vest and go to work every day, whether we will come home.” and added his thoughts are with “the spouses and family and children of law enforcement officers…who never got that moment maybe to say I love you.”
  • Retired MPD Public Information Officer and former Ch3 reporter Joel DeSpain told Madison Magazine’s Doug Moe that the decision to leave his career in news was not easy and he was thrown into the deep end quickly as the new MPD PIO in 2007 when the Kelly Nolan murder occurred less than a month into his new job. Moe writes, “Those were tough news conferences, as were any pertaining to officer-involved shootings. But DeSpain never wavered in his belief that, more than most city police departments, Madison’s serves as a guardian of the community, a force for good.” Click here to learn how DeSpain landed at MPD after 26 years in the news business, and what he plans to do in retirement.
  • And speaking of retirement, Sheriff Dave Mahoney retired on Friday (5/7) after 41 years of service to Dane County—14 of those as Sheriff. Before signing off he took time to record a video for kids for Sheriff’s Office Story Time. He appropriately chose the picture book, “Time to say Bye-bye.”

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