LETTER BY YWCA MADISON CEO VANESSA McDOWELL.
Dear Town of Madison Police Chief Gregory, Town of Madison Police and Fire Commission Members, and Members of the Town of Madison Board,
YWCA Madison strongly opposes the hiring of Daniel Furseth as a police officer with the Town of Madison. We ask that you rescind his offer and/or terminate his hiring immediately.
Furseth was recorded making racist comments about African Americans. When the video was made, Furseth worked as a police officer with the Village of DeForest Police Department. At the time the video surfaced, Furseth served as Police Chief for DeForest. He was forced to resign from the police department.
It is absurd for Town of Madison Police Chief Scott Gregory to state that the hiring of Furseth will not impact the trust between police and Town of Madison residents, approximately 50% of whom are people of color. How can Gregory believe that hiring someone who has a history of mocking African Americans will not impact trust in the Town of Madison and its police force? Through this hire, you show that you do not value the safety of African Americans and communities of color.
Gregory also has been reported stating that, besides this recording, there are no other records of Furseth’s racism. We would like to know how many times Furseth should be caught making racist statements before you conclude that he is, in fact, racist? Furseth’s prior documented history of racism immediately disqualifies him from any policing position.
We appreciate that Furseth has apologized. However, he should not be rewarded for that apology with the power to carry a gun and make life-altering decisions for anyone living, working, or passing through the Town of Madison. The community justifiably does not trust Furseth. Because of his hiring, the community is now justified in its distrust of the Town of Madison Police Department.
YWCA Madison recommends that the Town of Madison work to restore the trust of the community. Rescind the offer of employment, or terminate Furseth’s employment, immediately.
About YWCA Madison
YWCA Madison is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. For 110 years, YWCA has been a leader in addressing the most challenging issues of the day, including gender equity, affordable housing, racial justice, restorative justice, and family supporting wages. Today our programs and services across the greater Madison area serve over five thousand women, girls, and their families. We combine programming and advocacy to move the needle on three key areas: racial and gender equity, housing and shelter, and employment training and transportation.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jay Young
608.395.2198 | firstname.lastname@example.org