The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to meet today to consider reimbursements to local law enforcement agencies for security provided at the state Capitol during the protests earlier this year. A group of 13 Republican lawmakers are questioning whether the bills being submitted by Dane County (for $534,080.70) and the city of Madison (for $735,624.05).
The security costs incurred by the State of Wisconsin during the siege were increased by the political decisions of local officials in the City of Madison and Dane County. Comments and actions by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Police Chief Noble Wray, County Executive Kathleen Falk and Sheriff Dave Mahoney encouraged the behavior of the siege participants in an attempt to achieve a partisan political outcome during this governmental crisis.
These actions or inactions triggered a reliance on state and other local law enforcement agencies to provide assistance to the Wisconsin Capitol Police Department. These expenses could have been reduced or even eliminated if the Madison Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff’s Department hadn’t been limited in their response by the local officials.