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Sunday, June 20, 2021

UW-Madison police to add new position for Langdon Street area to improve student safety

Credit: WISC
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UW-Madison police to add new position for Langdon Street area to improve student safety
UW-Madison police to add new position for Langdon Street area to improve student safety

The University of Wisconsin-Madison police department announced that it is adding a new officer position to cover the Langdon Street area plus communities "bordered by Lake Mendota, Lake Street, Gorham Street, and Wisconsin Ave."

Portage to inese efficiency.

Uw-madison police are adding a new position to fill the void when the madison police department removes its langdon street officer.

They say it's to ensure student safety, but jamie perez spoke to a student today who says -- it's just not the same.

Madison police officer damion figuroa has built such a strong rappor with students that he made them feel safe.

One student i spoke with today said while she's happy uw police are stepping up to get someone to cover that area... she feels safety is still being compromised to some degree.

When news first broke that madison police officer damion figueroa would no longer be serving the langdon street community... uw student brooke wilczewski (will- chess-key) was one of many students who felt..

"scared.

I felt disrespected.

I felt voiceless.

I felt as though myself, my vote, and my own situation didn't matter to the city of madison" according to the deputy mayor, due to budget cuts, former police chief mike koval recommended several options for the mayor to cut down on.

The langdon street officer position was one of them.

Uw madison police chief kristen roman said a new position with her department is being added that will help fill the void.

"we aren't lking to necessarily replace him.

I don't actually think there's anybody who could.

But what we are lookling to do is build relatonships in those areas as well.

"i think that's a good step in the right direction.

However, because we are on city territory, the city police officers and university police officers function in completely different ways.

Madison police will still be in charge of handling criminal investigations in this area.

Chief roman said the uw position is aimed at a focus on safety and resources for students.

"one of the benefits, for sure, that this position will offer is that link.

A more solid and consistent direct link for those students in these areas to campus resources."

Wilczewski says its more than just about having a replacement... " becuase of the established relationship that figueroa has so, so, so made it his goal to establish with every single student and resident in the area that he covers, it's going to be a different dynamic."

Chief roman said she understands the students concerns with not having their trusted neighborhood officer around, but hopes to continue to work with madison police to fill the gap as much as possible.

"we all need each other in order to keep our communities safe" "i appreciate that step in the right direction.

But i think there needs to be more conversations had" chief roman said they hope to get this position started around the same time officer figeuroa's position is officially done so the transition can be as seamless as possible.

The uw police department is still working on determining what exactly the responsibilities of

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