CRUISING CRACKDOWN

April 23, 2009

EAST WASHINGTON SAFETY INITIATIVE

This past weekend officers from the Madison Police Department's North and East Districts teamed up with Wisconsin State Patrol for the first of several planned East Washington Safety Initiatives. More than 100 citations, and over 50 warnings were handed out Friday and Saturday nights along busy East Washington Avenue.

In recent years, East Washington Avenue has become a popular " cruising strip" for the nostalgic social-driving activity, first made famous in the 1960's. Unlike activities depicted in the film " American Graffiti," the cruising culture along modern-day East Washington Avenue often brings with it a host of complaints and problems: racing, aggressive driving, dangerous driving, speeding, disturbances, fights, noise problems, littering, loitering, to name a few.

"Not only are most of the activities dangerous and pose significant safety concerns, they also reduce the quality of life for the residence living within the East Washington corridor," said Sgt. Jason Sweeney, Madison Police Department, North District.

On April 18th and 19th, MPD officers and State Patrol troopers wrote:

• 56 citations - 33 warnings on Friday night
• 57 citations - 20 warnings on Saturday night

Many were for violations like speeding, red signal violations, and amplified or defective mufflers. Five were cited for speeding. There were also three felony charges resulting from the project:

o Possession with intent to deliver marijuana
o Eluding an officer
o Possession of cocaine, as a repeater.

" The project was a huge success, and had a huge impact on behavior this (past) weekend," said Sgt. Sweeney.

Additional East Washington Safety Initiatives will take place in coming months.

Contact:
  • Sgt. Jason Sweeney, 243-5258
  • Lt. Brian Ackeret, 243-5258
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897