MADISON, Wis - A former Madison police chief says he was shocked to find out that his signature was being used on a letter critiquing a local police department.
David Couper retired from police department two decades ago, but has still been in and out of the public eye and very vocal when it comes to police issues. Couper said someone used his name to prompt change in a local police department, and he says it wasn’t him.
A letter addressed to a Dane County police chief, allegedly signed by Couper on what was made to look like his official letterhead critized a local police chief for the way he is running his department.
The unknown author expressed concerns regarding officers issuing too many tickets patrolling the highway in attempts to generate revenue. The writer suggested the chief focus his department's efforts on patrolling village streets and working with youth instead.
"I was shocked to learn your officers are spending a considerable amount of time patrolling the highway. I think their efforts could be better served by patrolling the village streets, working with the youth and educating traffic violators as opposed to [generating] revenue for the village," the author wrote.
"If you are a resident in that chief's town, I would say 'Hey! Man up and say who you are and I have a concern. Go to the chief, go to the city council, stand up and say something. You don't need to put my name on the bottom of this thing,'" Couper said, addressing the letter writer.
Couper has been outspoken regarding his stance on limiting use of force, which he says has caused tension between him and other law enforcement agencies.The letter suggested the chief contact Couper to discuss "ideas for his agency," according to the letter.
The former chief does not know who wrote the letter or the motive behind it. He did not want to mention the name of the chief the letter was written to, but said he has never have a problem with that chief in the past.
The letter was sent in February. Couper recently found out about the forged letter after contacting the police chief regarding a separate matter.
He said situations like this can pit people against each other and damage reputations.
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