Madison City Council expressed support for the transfer of the parking control unit from the Madison Police Department to Parking Utility during a Tuesday evening meeting.
Public Safety Review Committee member Matthew Mitnick said the committee brought the idea to city council.
“I was really happy to see them listening to us on this and I felt that this general decision that the board made last night was necessary,” said Mitnick.
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Employees of the Parking Control Unit spoke out against the transfer at the Tuesday meeting.
Many employees worried about their safety and that of their colleagues without being able to benefit from the support of the police service.
“I don’t know of anyone who supports this decision,” said parking enforcement employee Said Aileen Seymour. “It’s more the relationship that we can establish by being in close proximity to the police department.”
Other community members shared their views on why they were in favor of the proposal at the MP’s meeting, with several saying the move to the parking utility was a step in the right direction for police reform.
Several also said there was no reason for the Parking Control Unit to be part of the Madison Police Department. Soren Underdahl, a community member, said the transfer is a small step in the right direction.
“We must continue to transfer all responsibilities, personnel equipment and financial resources from the MPD with respect to traffic and safe application.” Underdahl said.
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Mitnick said employees at the parking control unit should listen to the community. Specifically, employees should listen to those who have different experiences with these institutions.
“It’s a systemic issue that goes far beyond a parking attendant’s sense of security in their job,” Mitnick said.