Archived News: This news release is more than one year old and may include outdated information.

Problem-Oriented Policing Conference

The Madison Police Department has been selected as one of seven finalists in this year's Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. This is an international competition with final judging to be done at the 19th Annual Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Conference, which is being held this year in Bellevue, Washington from Monday, September 22, 2008 to Wednesday, September 24, 2008.

Police officers, and police leaders from around the globe will gather with crime consultants and crime researchers to discuss what they have learned about trying to reduce different crime and safety problems. Attendees choose from a variety of workshops, which will include presentations from the Goldstein Award finalists.

The Madison Police Department's project team will discuss "Halloween on State Street."

The POP conference agenda says this about the presentation:

"May all who seek to cause trouble be met with a mouth full of pepper spray …" the sentiment of this citizens, who was tired of the rioting and mayhem during the Madison (WI) Halloween celebration, exemplified the community's frustration with injury, property damage, and costs. The Madison Police Department utilized the S.A.R.A. (Scan, Analyze, Respond, & Assess*) model, focused on the iterative nature of problem solving, and engaged a wide variety of stakeholders to realize consistent improvement of the annual Halloween party. Measures of success include decreased numbers of injuries, damage, arrests, and costs, along with increases in community-wide support, and positive media coverage.

Conference attendees will help pick the winning project. Other finalists include the Arlington (Texas) Police Department, the Boston Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, the Lancashire Constabulary (United Kingdom), and Transport for London.
Lancashire Constabulary has two projects, which were selected as Goldstein Award finalists.

It should be noted that Madison's Halloween party - now known as Freakfest - continues to be a work in progress for the Madison Police Department and other community partners, and being a Goldstein finalist does not mean efforts to keep the peace will be any less diligent this October than in past years. Still, the MPD looks forward to sharing with others in law enforcement some lessons learned from policing past Halloween events.

*See attached link for more information on S.A.R.A


  • Capt. Mary Schauf, 261-9274
  • Capt. Tom Snyder, 267-8643
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897