Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Madison wrap-up

Well, while I'm rubbing shoulders with colleagues in Madison at the Problem-Oriented Policing conference, all manner of mayhem breaks out in Lincoln. Overnight yesterday we had a downtown stabbing that left the victim in critical condition, and an early morning domestic-related homicide. This creates a huge amount of work for the street officers and sergeants, investigators, duty commanders, public information officer, and even the Records Unit. They all performed superbly, though, and by mid morning, Assistant Chief Peschong emailed me to report that both cases were cleared, with suspects located and in custody.

My two presentations at the POP Conference went quite well. The attendance was good, participation and discussion great, and I think the topic (strategies to reduce high-risk drinking and wild parties) was well received by officers from across the country who deal with the same issues in their own community. Two other conference presentations dealt with similar issues, from Anaheim, CA to Lancashire, UK. The moderator of my presentation was Dr. Deborah Lamm Weisel, from North Carolina State University. She's a pretty significant reputation in our field, so her compliments were particularly encouraging. She was especially impressed by our analysis and assessment: the extent to which we gathered data from survey research, police reports, detox admissions, arrest records, and our geographic information system to both inform our strategies and monitor our impact.

Yesterday, an early morning informal discussion with Herman Goldstein, the "father" of problem-oriented policing was a highlight, as was an evening discussion for chiefs and executive officers facilitated by Michael Scott, the POP Center's director. These were provocative discussions, and we all reflected on the need to do a better job studying the literature of our own profession. There is a widespread feeling that we don't do enough in our field to ensure that our officers and managers are familiar with the growing knowledge from research about "what works" in policing.

Madison continues to impress me as Lincoln with a Lake. Actually, two lakes. I will say this, though, Lincoln's a little cleaner (thank you DLA), and downtown Madison seems to have a much larger population than downtown Lincoln. Madison has the more eclectic street people though. . I snapped this photo directly across the street from the State Capitol. Note that this guy has a 17" laptop, with his A/C adapter plugged into the City light post on the left. I debated about posting this photo, for fear of appearing insensitive to the homeless, but I just thought there was some sort of obscure social commentary here. I don't know what, though, so it must really be obscure. I showed this photo to a Madison police captain. She said, "That is so Madison."

12 comments:

Zen said...

Not being there to observe, obviously, my first question would be how do you know he is homeless? Ive been in school with some pretty bohemian types of people over the years.

Tom Casady said...

Well, the bedroll and duffel bag were clues, but the fact that he was sleeping on that bench 6 hours later was pretty definitive.

Anonymous said...

Obviously making a "Homeless... Will Work 4 Food... American Vet... Every Penny Helps... Need a Bus Ticket... Must pay my AOL account... etc." -Power Point to set up on the corner, much more interactive and catchy then the cardboard sign. Add some nice custom animations, maybe some sound... God Bless America, looping in the background. The donations should pour in.

Anonymous said...

Their vagabonds are smarter than our vagabonds???.... Unacceptable! I'm writing the grant right now to put a Dell laptop in every transient's napsack. It's a must for the "bum on the go".

Anonymous said...

I often find myself chattering about comparative stats, but I seem to be hard-wired for it. I find it useful to quantify things to get a wider view of any situation. You seem to be something of an avid data-miner yourself.

Madison and Lincoln are quite similar in many ways, but there are some significant differences between the two cities. For instance, although average per capita and household incomes are in the same ballpark, the average house value in Madison is nearly twice the that of Lincoln. Factor in a higher prop tax rate in Madison (yes, there are places with higher prop tax than Lincoln), and you'll see why fewer Madisonians own their own homes (and why more of them rent).

Voter registration in Madison tilts significantly one way, whereas in Lincoln it tilts slightly in the other direction. This is generally thought to be one reason that Madison has more in the way of social services, and thus more of those those most inclined to take advantage of that city's largesse (your photo subject for example). Madison voters are more likely to pass any given bond issue, which is part of the reason their prop tax rate exceeds ours.

Anonymous said...

What font was the 'Will work for food' sign printed in?

Anonymous said...

That he did though in it mustard and onions, such the light and on every talk and that is the rear of it?

About as much here as is in this blog today.

Anonymous said...

Does he beg for money to buy more I-Tunes??? I bet he has a myspace.

Tom Casady said...

If anyone can interpret the comment by anonymous 3:45 AM, I would be most appreciative.

Anonymous said...

Well Chief, he is trying to cleverly show you that his sentence, much like your blog, says nothing today.

((his opinion, not mine))

Anonymous said...

I think the mustard and onions thing is possibly a code phrase to deep-cover enemy operatives, foreshadowing an invasion of Lincoln by some unknown force, much like "John has a long moustache".

I'm guessing that Omaha intends to invade and establish a new forward base, now that their old secret base at Opulence has been shut down.

Tom Casady said...

Ah, now I see. Thanks, 8:37, that's obvious now.

I'll take the critique. It's not always easy coming up with great material for your blog, though--particularly when you're up to your ears in lots of other stuff!!