Mayor, Police Department Outline Details for Downtown Safety Initiative

January 23, 2007

Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Madison Police Department leaders today outlined details for the proposed Downtown Safety Initiative. The mayor provided $100,000 in funding for the initiative in his 2007 budget, and asked Police Chief Noble Wray and Central District Capt. Mary Schauf to develop a public safety plan with input from downtown stakeholders.

The plan will be reviewed by a group of downtown stakeholders on Wednesday evening, and then be submitted to the Common Council for final approval.

"Downtown Madison has become an increasingly vibrant, exciting part of our city," said Mayor Cieslewicz. "With that increased activity, we have seen new public safety challenges emerge. This initiative will give the police, and the community, the tools they need to ensure that downtown remains an enjoyable and safe place for residents and visitors alike."

The Downtown Safety Initiative includes three primary objectives:

1. Work to reduce violent street level crime, especially from approximately 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. for the Central District. The criminal activity peaks before and after bar time, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, into the following morning.

2. Enhance district-wide community policing efforts and engage the community in crime reduction efforts and reduce levels of fear from crime.

3. Improve voluntary compliance with alcohol-related ordinances in licensed and unlicensed establishments.

Tools such as increased police overtime, WiFi-enabled security cameras, support for Neighborhood Watch programs and expansion of the Safer Bar Training program will be used to achieve these objectives. The Madison Police Department will be evaluating the effectiveness of this initiative to ensure that it is meeting its goals for enhancing public safety downtown.

"This plan will provide a framework for reducing alcohol-related violence in downtown Madison now and into the future," said Police Chief Noble Wray.

Contact:
  • George Twigg, 266-4611