Mayor's Statement re: Halloween 2006

October 30, 2006

Madison – Mayor Dave Cieslewicz today released the following statement regarding the 2006 Halloween event in Madison. No post-event news conference is planned at this time. A press availability with the mayor and Chief Wray will be scheduled for Monday morning.

“This year’s event was a big step in the right direction. For the past several years, the Halloween event has seen improvements, and this year continues that trend. Initial estimates are that there were 117 arrests tonight, less than half the number in 2005. In addition, this is the first Halloween in several years at which the deployment of police in hard gear and the use of pepper spray was not required.

“We met all three of my goals for this year. We did not have to use pepper spray or have our police in riot gear. We reduced the amount of over consumption of alcohol. And we recovered a significant part of the costs.

“We took a chance with the new ticketing system, and it clearly played a role in helping the event conclude peacefully and without incident for the first time in several years. The ticketing system also helped us start to recover some of the significant public safety costs that are borne by the taxpayers each year for this event. Initial estimates are that we sold 32,000 tickets, which will provide over $150,000 in revenue to help offset the cost of this event to City taxpayers.

“I appreciate the good work of all the stakeholders who helped develop and implement this plan, including: Chief Noble Wray and the Madison Police Department; our other law enforcement partners; City agencies including Fire, Parks, Engineering, Metro, Streets, and Traffic Engineering; Ald. Mike Verveer; Ald. Austin King; Downtown Madison Inc.; the Downtown Business Improvement District; downtown business owners and residents; the Halloween Action Committee; and UW-Madison administrators. I want to extend a special thanks to our Alcohol Policy Coordinator Joel Plant and to my aide on police matters Mario Mendoza.

“I want to especially thank the over 60 City of Madison employees who stepped up at the last moment to assist with the event on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Without their help, this event would not have been the success that it was.

“Finally, I want to thank the UW students for acting responsibly. While there was some initial skepticism, the Halloween Action Committee, the student newspapers and other student leaders came around to the plan and worked constructively with us. With this success we are now beginning to rebuild public support for Halloween in the broader community.”

Contact:
  • George Twigg, 608-266-4611