Special Events Team

Special Events

The Special Events Team (SET) consists of approximately eighty sworn police personnel and is a structured group of Officers and Command Staff with specialized training in crowd management and crowd control techniques.

Events like Halloween, Rhythm and Booms and Mifflin Street Block Party had overburdened the ability of patrol services to staff these events. SET was created to formalize the departments response to events that involve large crowds of people. SET is activated whenever there is a large planned or spontaneous event that would be beyond the capabilities and staffing of Patrol.

Mission

The mission of the Madison Police Department's Special Events Team is to protect the first amendment right of citizens to assemble peacefully and to voice their opinions on issues that are often sensitive and emotional in nature. We believe in dignity of all people and respect individual and constituional rights in fulfilling this mission. Members of the Madison Police Department's Special Events Team have an obligation to protect our citizen's rights, yet maintain order and protect life and property.

The Madison Police Department's philosophy and principals on managing crowds.

First and foremost, members of the Madison Police Department are trained to use restraint in the use of force; we protect people first and property second. Our officers treat all people with dignity and respect. Our goal while managing large events is to maintain order; our officers are trained to respond with only the amount of force necessary to accomplish this goal. This includes confronting people regarding city ordinance violations, illegal activity, and affecting arrests for serious violations.

The "Madison Method" Seven Principles of Handling Crowds and Demonstrations

  1. We PROTECT citizen's constitutional rights to assemble, petition the government and engage in free speech.
  2. We are IMPARTIAL and remain neutral regardless of the issue.
  3. We maintain OPEN DIALOGUE with citizens and the news media before, during and after demonstrations.
  4. We MONITOR demonstrations and marches to protect individual rights and ensure public safety.
  5. We BALANCE the rights of demonstrators with the rights of the community at large.
  6. We use RESTRAINT in the use of force. We protect people first and property second.
  7. We, as PEACE OFFICERS pursue CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT of our method.