Officer involved shooting law in effect


MGN Online

Posted, Friday May 9, 2014 --- 5:45 p.m.

There've been two officer involved shootings in Dane County in the past week. Today NBC 15 spoke with both agencies involved to talk about how the investigations are going under new state law.

"No agency should investigate themselves"---that's the mindset behind the new law that was passed. Little did anyone know that it would be put to the test twice just a week after being signed.

"Every time we have a critical incident we learn something," says Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

He was sworn in as the new Madison Police Chief last Wednesay and not even 48 hours later Mike Koval was dealing with an officer involved shooting on Madison's East side.

"This is a very traumatic time for us and today, Friday, they're finally getting an opportunity to collectively have a facilitated critical incident debriefing," says Madison Police Chief, Mike Koval.

It's a situation no chief ever wants, and on top of it, Koval had to navigate through how this officer involved shooting law would play out.

The state law requires another agency leads the investigation anytime there's an officer involved shooting.

Koval says with anything new, there's a certain amount of discomfort but says DCI is wonderful to work with.

"This isn't their first rodeo, they know exactly where they want to deploy resources, so we let them take that lead, which is statutorily mandated and have just supplemented their efforts if needed."

And for Dane County Sheriff, Dave Mahoney he's been the boss for 8 years, but after last Thursdays incident, the officer involved shooting law was just as new for him, as it was for Koval.

"In one sense I'm glad that we could show that this new law would work but nobody ever wishes this on their deputies," says Mahoney.

Mahoney says his deputies did have a leg up since they usually have outside agencies assisting---just not leading.

"It has worked very well and we knew it would because we were already acquainted with multi agency investigations when it comes to critical incidents."

Sheriff Mahoney actually helped out with drafting the legislation that was passed and is glad that it was on the books before these incidents.
And Chief Koval says anything they can do to make the public more comfortable is worth it.

"In these transparent days of ours it's not adequate to only ensure that proper things are being done, you have to avoid the appearance that there's nothing funny going on."

DCI is handling the investigation into the Madison shooting, while Madison and Sun Prairie police are leading the Dane County shooting.

As a part of this new law if no charges are filed against officers, the investigations will be made public.

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