Madison City Elections,1973

Early 70s: Talking to a community group about what we need to do to improve the Madison Police Department.

I came to Madison in December of 1972. Bill Dyke was the mayor and not very happy with my appointment. For many weeks he refused to meet with me. But the spring election was only a few months away and the fall election in Dane County had swept liberals into most county offices including that of sheriff.

An excerpt from my book:

“During Mayor Dyke’s campaign speeches, he often made fun of me by making light of my term ‘conflict management’ to describe the way we were now going to approach protest in the city. He made every effort to challenge me, undermine me, and underplay my authority within the department. Looking for continued support from officers on the department, he had continued to refuse to meet with me, and everyone in town knew it…

 “As election day came closer, it looked like Dyke was going to be beaten, and I could feel the tension within the police department. Most of the officers were strong Dyke supporters, and hardly anyone within the department voiced support for Soglin. They knew Paul Soglin from his earlier days on campus. He was a rebel, a student activist. He had the additional credentials in the student district he represented of being arrested and jailed by Madison police during a campus demonstration. His long hair had been shaved while he was in custody for ‘health’ reasons.”

Soglin’s election made my job a lot easier. Soglin depended on me to keep peace on the streets of the city. It  turned out that handling protesters on the street was a lot easier than handling the ones I had within my own department.