Thursday, August 27, 2009

Public Safety Commission Report

At its August 2009 meeting the Monona Public Safety Commission:

Rejected a proposal to prohibit parking in the 6200 block of Bridge Road. Several neighbors appeared in opposition. The resident who owns the tow truck that is sometimes parked along that stretch announced that he is retiring and selling the truck. Item 5b Traffic and 5c Bridge Parking.pdf

Expressed interest in adopting something like the Middleton and Madison Neighborhood Traffic Management Plans (NTMP). I offered to draft a plan based on those plans for the committee's consideration. The complete Middleton Neighborhood Traffic Management Program. Here is a summary of the Middleton plan: Neighborhood Traffic Management Program.

Here is a link to the Madison Traffic Management program.

Recommended approval of a Monona Police Department K-9 Policy (Updated K-9 Policy 8-24-09.pdf) - and implicitly the establishment of a canine unit provided adequate private funds are raised. My concerns focused on a couple main points: How would the dog be used and in particular would it be routinely used in traffic stops. Other committee members shared my concern that a dog sniff not become part of every run-of-the-mill traffic stop. We were assured by the PD that the dog would not be used that way.

Under a Wisconsin Supreme Court case, during a valid vehicle stop and without any probable cause or even reasonable suspicion, the canine may be used to sniff the vehicle's exterior in an exploratory manner so long as sniff does not take longer than necessary to conclude the business associated with the initial stop. (See, State v. Arias, No. 2006AP000974. See also State v. Lord, No. 2007AP001858, a Court of Appeals case that somewhat narrowly interprets Arias. Be cautious about how much cologne you splash on - apparently police consider it to be suspicious: "[Officer]Smith noticed a heavy odor of air freshener and cologne emanating from the vehicle, which he suspected was masking the smell of drugs.").

My other concern is how much time the ongoing training of the dog and handler would require. It appears it could take as much as 10% or more of the handler's time to keep both trained up. (The handler will be a Monona patrol officer).

Recommended participation in a Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety
Speed Enforcement 2010 Traffic Grant
. Some members of the committee, in particular Alder Veserat expressed concerns about taking the money and questioned how it would be used.
Item 6b WIBOTS Grant.pdf

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