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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Reaction to the 600 block shooting

May 22, 2012 8:30 PM

In the aftermath of the shooting during graduation weekend, the City has renewed its efforts to increase law enforcement on University Avenue and State Street. It is unacceptable for students and visitors to feel threatened by gun violence, gang activity, and drug trafficking. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured during the attack. This incident must become a call to action for Madison, the University, students, alumni and community leaders who have a vested interest in preserving the safety of our downtown.

In terms of police resources, the Mayor and downtown alders will propose reinstating additional funding for the Downtown Safety Initiative. This will provide law enforcement agents with an additional $50,000 to cover officer overtime on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

In addition to enforcement, we need to address the behaviors that led to the event, the environment of the block, and the model of the liquor establishments in the area. Congregating outside of downtown bars can no longer be an acceptable form of entertainment. Escalating crowds fueled with alcohol led to adverse behaviors. A combination of bar security and law enforcement must prevent crowds from forming and alleviate problems outside establishments.

Also, the City has had extensive conversations regarding the physical environment of the 600 block of University and other areas of State Street. New lighting will be installed on Frances Street over the summer. Other dark areas and street obstructions have been identified and further improvements will be made.

Furthermore, it is not acceptable for tavern owners to "blame thugs" for all the problems in and around bars. If liquor establishments are to remain open in the area, proactive security measures must be installed by bar owners and clearly outlined to all employees and patrons. The City's position should be to work alongside tavern owners in order to address the problem head-on and not move it elsewhere.

However, targeted downtown funding is not enough to solve chronic problems of violent behavior by non-University students.

We need to continue our re-energized focus on Madison neighborhoods that attract criminals. While solutions are multi-faceted, as these problems relate to neighborhood officers, neighborhood resource teams, building inspectors, and community block grant funding, these operations must be prioritized in the next budget cycle.

The downtown is the heart of Madison's livelihood. It drives our economy and attracts students to the University. Failure is not an option. Although the problem is complex, safety must be the highest priority for the City to address.



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