More than 100 University of Wisconsin-Platteville criminal justice and forensic investigation students, faculty and staff recently gained knowledge and insight into police-community relations from an expert in the field: Michael C. Koval, chief of police at the City of Madison Police Department. The presentation, held in the university’s Nohr Gallery, was hosted by the UW-Platteville Department of Criminal Justice.
Koval, who has served in his position since 2014, is a prominent Wisconsin policing figure, known nationally for his strong leadership skills and commitment to community policing. The purpose of the presentation was to provide an opportunity for students to learn from him about problem solving and sustaining positive community relations during a difficult social climate.
Koval discussed a variety of topics, including the highly publicized, controversial 2015 shooting of Tony Robinson by Madison Police Officer Matthew Kenny. Koval delivered an important message to students about the need to provide time for community healing in the aftermath of a police-involved shooting.
“Madison Police Chief Mike Koval is fiercely committed to community policing and admired for his ‘from-the-heart’ style of leadership,” said Dr. Camie Morris, lecturer of criminal justice at UW-Platteville. “Having him talk to our students, many of whom are interested in a law enforcement career, provided them with a unique opportunity to learn, firsthand, about his well-respected approach to managing the City of Madison Police Department.”
“Our students could connect Chief Koval’s talking points with what they read in their texts, discuss in their classes and learn from their professors,” added Morris. “They were excited to attend a talk from a prominent policing figure, who also happens to be a Wisconsinite.”
“Chief Koval’s presentation was super interesting,” said Lana Parkinson, a junior with a double major in political science and criminal justice. “I learned a lot, and I found him to be one of the more ‘real’ speakers I have ever heard. He was funny, honest and didn’t hold back.”
“This type of holistic approach to policing was such an important message for our students to hear,” said Dr. Kory Wein, interim chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education at UW-Platteville. “The university was fortunate that he donated his valuable time to speak to our students and share his valuable perspectives.”