Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 --- 4:13p.m.
Release from Madison Police Department:
The MPD will deploy additional resources in the central city this weekend in an effort to reduce recent violent, disruptive, and intimidating behavior. The Department will apply problem-solving initiative funds to supplement Downtown Safety Initiative (DSI) funds to put more officers on the street. This will be a high-visibility policing campaign where officers will look to engage the public in conversation while strictly enforcing relevant ordinances. Officers will patrol on foot, on bicycle, on horse, and in squad cars. The detail will consist of officers, detectives, and members of the MPD's Crime Prevention & Gang Unit. Their collective goal is to deter criminal activity in the State Street corridor, to include the 600 block of University Ave.
In recent months, large numbers of people have been congregating in these areas after 10:00 p.m. The composition of the crowd has changed dramatically from days when it has been predominantly students waiting to get into bars or area restaurants to large groups of people just hanging out. Officers report crowds are often stagnant, disruptive, confrontational, combative and hostile to police. Those in this subgroup often do not patronize clubs or restaurants, and some are responsible for recent gunfire, stabbings, batteries, and robberies.
The department has been focused on reducing these problems, and has worked hand-in-hand with businesses to find solutions. This weekend, with the help of additional officers, the department wants to send a clear message to troublemakers: Violent and disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
The department will commit the needed resources to address these problems, not just on this weekend, but into the future.