Madison's police chief happy about peaceful tone inside Capitol building

CREATED Oct 4, 2012

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  • Inside the State Capitol in Madison. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON- After months of loud protesting, the new Madison police chief says he's happy the Capitol building has been quieter in the past few months.

He won't call it a crackdown, but Capitol Police Chief David Erwin admits to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure" he is holding protesters and everyone else to the same standard.

"This whole issue they are trying to make about free speech is not about free speech, it's about everyone following the same permit process," says Erwin.  "I think the citizens of the state expect (the same standard)."

Erwin has been on the job since July, and says they're headed on the right track.

"I believe we are gaining some compliance here."

Erwin says getting rid of unruly protesters is just a part of his responsibilities.

"We have 5.5 million people in the state that share this beautiful Capitol (building), and it's my job to ensure we all share this building."

Back in September, Capitol police arrested eight people on one day for holding up signs without getting permits.