Madison police union calls on Mayor Rhodes-Conway to unite opposing sides of police reform

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MADISON, Wis.– Madison’s Professional Police Officer Association is asking Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to “educate” herself in an open letter written to discuss missed opportunities.

The letter states Rhodes-Conway had the opportunity to commend the Madison Police Department for being a leader in adopting initiatives that many other law enforcement are just now doing, including their example of the Campaign Zero “8 Can’t Wait” Initiative recommendations.

The MPPOA Board of Directors said Rhodes-Conway is repeating talking points that divide the community, adding that is is possible for the mayor to support those protesting in favor of police reform, while also supporting the police department.

The Mayor’s Office did not immediately respond for comment, but Rhodes-Conway did address this topic on a News 3 Now panel last week.

“Is there a way to support Black Lives Matter and the Police?” News 3 Now anchor Susan Siman asked.

“I think there has to be, because that is how we move forward as a community,” Rhodes-Conway said. “One of the challenges to white people in this time is we need to be open to getting it viscerally and not shutting down around that.”

MPPOA President Kelly Powers said the police union would like to see more concise messages coming from Rhodes-Conway.

“Sometimes messaging at the political level is going to be targeted toward audience, and what we certainly seemed to observe there is sort of an absence of lending some credit to the work that gets done,” Powers said.

The letter concludes by calling on Rhodes-Conway to unite both protesters and police to work together toward change.

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