Madison police chief asks research group to conduct review of department’s handling of civil unrest

Who is the new Madison police interim chief? And what’s next for the department?

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Police Department’s interim chief has asked a research center to review the department’s response to the first week of protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

According to a Facebook post written by Acting Police Chief Vic Wahl, the department is working with the Quattrone Center for The Fair Administration of Justice, a research group affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Law School, to conduct an in-depth review of how the MPD handled the protests and civil unrest that broke out in late May and early June.

“The Quattrone Center is an experienced and respected entity that will perform a thorough review. Their work will be independent and transparent,” Wahl said in the post. “MPD is committed to continuous improvement, and I look forward to working with the Quattrone Center as they do this valuable work.”

One of the recommendations from a 2017 report analyzing the MPD’s policies and practices was to implement an incident review process.

In the post, Wahl said the department was already working with the Quattrone Center to review an event from 2019 when he asked the center to re-focus on the department’s response to the unrest.

Wahl did not say what 2019 event the Quattrone Center was reviewing.

The center’s review will help identify the causes, like policy, training or culture, that led to the department’s response.