MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Sunday, January 25, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Partly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby supaunknown » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:44 pm

As much as I respect and appreciate Walter's point of view on most things, his post regarding the fireworks celebrations did come across as whiney and disgruntled. Also, the fearmongering he added seemed based on "what ifs", which I've gradually grown weary of since 9/11. I am curious as to what the crime stats are for July 4th weekends versus other summer weekends.
supaunknown
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5578
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 3:22 pm

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby gargantua » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:21 pm

This just in: Madison is not the only city to have a large fireworks display on or about the 4th of July. You would think that other cities would have the same issues with police staffing that we do. Yet, I've never heard of some nationwide crime wave that occurs during this time.

I don't disagree with Walter that it poses challenges for the cops, but I do think that the majority of the populace likes this stuff enough to take the risk.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4466
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Walter » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:12 pm

Hey now, don't jump to any conclusions about how I feel. I'm quite gruntled, thank you very much. It took me years to get enough seniority to be able to choose to take vacation on R&B and I have no problem with that. FNGs have to pay their dues.

If I didn't want to do my job, I would have quit a long time ago and you'd find me sitting around some bar: "I used to be a cop...it's a tough racket." <tosses down a shot> (Go watch the beginning of Glengarry Glenross for the full flavor)

It isn't about not wanting to work OT. I don't even use all my vacation each year. I love making overtime. I like money and put in extra hours and duty to make it. But it isn't worth it for this gig, not even at Holiday Pay as far as I am concerned. If the City wants me to work it, then they can prohibit taking vacation on it, like they do on Halloween.

As for not knowing about R&B, I moved here not quite 15 years ago from a few hundred miles away to work for the City. I never heard of R&B until a couple of months before I was scheduled to work it, something like 9 months after I was hired. Madison is not the center of the universe and everything that happens here is not of the greatest importance to all of mankind. That whole "if you didn't know then you're stupid" argument is just...stupid.
Walter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:28 am
Location: Motorzburg

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Walter » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:41 pm

supaunknown wrote:Also, the fearmongering he added seemed based on "what ifs", which I've gradually grown weary of since 9/11. I am curious as to what the crime stats are for July 4th weekends versus other summer weekends.


I'm not fearmongering on our staffing. It's been a concern since the mid-90s when I started and probably before that. One major crime or incident, what we call "the Big One", a murder, fatal car crash, some guy starting a bus on fire with a pail of gas, a barricaded subject, a real or fake bomb call, sucks up a ton of our resources. To have A Big One happen on the same day as R&B, Halloween, Mifflin Block Party, a football Saturday, Iron Man, etc. would be be beyond our ability to respond in a way that people in this town expect.

On any other regular day, when a Big One happens, those of us working hope we don't get another one because we don't have enough people to handle two at the same time. Forget about it if something like that happens between 4am and 6am: there's only 16 cops covering the ENTIRE city then. It's a zero sum game and we've been lucky we haven't had to manage in either case.

I'm just pointing out how thin we really are and perhaps what people expect is not realistic. The Police Department has recently gone to staffing based on a study using call volume as the measure of how to deploy officers. I think we need to have a "what if" component as well or we're going to get caught with our pants down one of these days.

I don't know what the crime stats are for summer weekends. All I know is it's busy every weekend in the summer and people on nights aren't very excited about our chances from bartime until 6am this year.
Walter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:28 am
Location: Motorzburg

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:19 pm

Walter wrote:On any other regular day, when a Big One happens, those of us working hope we don't get another one because we don't have enough people to handle two at the same time. Forget about it if something like that happens between 4am and 6am: there's only 16 cops covering the ENTIRE city then. It's a zero sum game and we've been lucky we haven't had to manage in either case.


I appreciate your argument, but I feel like you are giving too much information away on a public forum.

It's like telling the bad guys when to burgle. And yes, I did use the term burgle. Maybe they would figure this out anyways, but I'd keep the numbers on the down low.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5247
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:34 pm

Walter, I don't envy you your job. For most of us, a bad day at work means having to deal with a pain in the ass customer, coworker, boss, etc. For me, a Big One means a server goes down and I have to bust ass to get it up again while an office full of folks stand around impatient because they can't get their work done. Nobody dies. No one gets shot. I don't have to talk anyone off a ledge or counsel a battered spouse.

None of us can deny in good faith that cops put up with a ton of shit on a day to day basis: the constant threat of violence, obnoxious and ornery drunks, violent jackasses, just plain jerks. Y'all typically do it without complaint because that's part and parcel of the career path, right? And that's laudable, but it also means that those of us on the other side of the blue line don't have much perspective on the pressures y'all deal with on what I assume is pretty much every shift.

So I, for one, appreciate your honesty on this topic, and I suspect we'd all have a better appreciation for your service to the community if we were to ride along for a shift. (Dude! Can I do a ride along? I totally want to do a ride along!)

Not to sound like a suck-up or like I'm angling for a get-out-of-jail-free card or anything, but I sleep better at night knowing there are officers of your caliber and intellect out there. And this forum is better off for your contributions, without a doubt. So thanks for taking the flak with such aplomb and panache. I've been guilty of tossing a little of it your way (well, not specifically your way, but in your general direction) in the past, but frankly it's way too easy to be critical when it's not your butt on the line. So thanks for dealing with the ugly shit so guys like me can slack in relative safety.

Hey, let's be careful out there.
Uncle_Leaver
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Walter » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:03 pm

Our staffing is already public record and Leaver, we'll talk the next time I see you.

Thanks, Mr.!
Walter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:28 am
Location: Motorzburg

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:35 am

Uncle_Leaver wrote:None of us can deny in good faith that cops put up with a ton of shit on a day to day basis: the constant threat of violence, obnoxious and ornery drunks, violent jackasses, just plain jerks.

And let's not forget about extraordinary jerks.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 9102
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Walter » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:09 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Uncle_Leaver wrote:None of us can deny in good faith that cops put up with a ton of shit on a day to day basis: the constant threat of violence, obnoxious and ornery drunks, violent jackasses, just plain jerks.

And let's not forget about extraordinary jerks.


And those are just my co-workers!!!
Walter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:28 am
Location: Motorzburg

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:08 am

Uncle_Leaver wrote:Not to sound like a suck-up or like I'm angling for a get-out-of-jail-free card or anything, but I sleep better at night knowing there are officers of your caliber and intellect out there.

"Two meanings... caliber... it's a homonym... Forget it."
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8431
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby supaunknown » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:31 pm

I didn't know that comments Sly made on his radio show were the reason Woodman's initially pulled their financial support from the Elver Park fireworks.
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/article_6410a066-5328-11df-94db-001cc4c002e0.html
supaunknown
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5578
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 3:22 pm

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Ducatista » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:19 pm

I'm not a fan of Sly (to put it mildly), but it sounds more like the reason Woodman's initially pulled their support is that they're petulant pussies.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4379
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby snoqueen » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:31 pm

Or maybe since they couldn't afford mental health coverage in their employees' insurance plans, they were trying to pull back a little. I can't imagine why they fund this silly thing to start with. There has to be a charity that delivers more for the dollar than this.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11941
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby Madsci » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:40 pm

drinkinblackcoffee wrote:
Madsci wrote:
I agree with Walter about the fireworks being a complete pain in the ass. I also try to leave town for the 4th of July. And I am not a disgruntled employee. DBC sounds like the stupid one to me.


You do realize Walter's a cop, right? Unless you are as well, you can't really empathize with his position. Stupid.


One doesn't need to be a cop to hate the battle and booms on the 4th of July. I am a tad mad but seldom stupid. Try the decaf.
Madsci
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1076
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:47 pm

Re: Fireworks: Aren't there more important things?

Postby rabble » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:42 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Maybe they would figure this out anyways, but I'd keep the numbers on the down low.

I can understand the discomfort but I have lived among thieves and there's no maybe about it.

The only people who don't know that sort of thing are the people who don't do that sort of thing.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6670
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Town Vibe

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar