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Police Blotter

Mifflin St

April 23, 2018 12:05 PM

Hello all,


I have some information to share regarding Mifflin St.  First, however, I thought it appropriate to discuss the impact that Mifflin St (and other similar activities) has on Madison--to residents, businesses, and city agencies.


Every year there are literally scores of planned events, races, and festivals, as well as numerous unplanned or spontaneous marches and rallies.  Most of these fall within the boundaries of the Central Police District.  MPD works diligently to appropriately monitor and staff these events to address traffic and safety concerns.


Small and large-scale events--be they planned (Shake the Lake), unsanctioned (Mifflin St), or not regularly scheduled/planned (a march, protest, or rally)--require planning and resources, sometimes in significant quantities.  Mifflin St has over 200 MPD officers working throughout the day--many of these folks are working on a day off or extended shifts.  Hundreds of hours of staff time goes into planning Mifflin.  The average cost in overtime/benefits for Mifflin over the last five years (2013-2017) was $83,656.40; in addition, straight time pay/benefits amounted to $19,635.60 on average.  Mifflin therefore costs, on average, $103,292 for staffing alone--and that is just MPD's share! 


In addition to the actual costs to MPD and the City, there is also the opportunity cost of not being able to use those resources to address other concerns or issues.  For example, Central CPT does a lot of groundwork for Mifflin St--seeing that signage is posted, working with landlords, being part of community meetings, and a variety of other tasks which pull them away from doing bar-checks or having as much presence in the area of 600 University Ave.  Other priorities like problem solving, community policing initiatives, and responsiveness to emerging issues are also impacted.


MPD is not the only agency to invest heavily in these events to protect the safety and security of all involved--MFD, Parking Enforcement, Traffic Engineering, Madison Metro, Building Inspection, and others all provide personnel, materials, and planning time. 


While many of these events are understandably seen as part of Madison's vibrant culture and unique history, I frequently hear about the (negative) impacts.  Residents, business owners, visitors and etc. note the inconvenience of not being able to get into their driveway or having to go significantly out of their way to get to a bus; complaints of unreasonable noise are commonplace, especially later in the evening.  The never-ending downtown construction projects pose enough of a traffic and parking snarl, which is exacerbated by these special events. 


Over the last few years the sheer volume of these events means frequent (sometimes weekly) impacts on agencies and citizens alike; even small disruptions add up over time and result in frustration and drains on resources.



And now to Mifflin 2018:


As many of you are already aware, this Saturday, April 28th, will see large gatherings of people and active house parties on and around Mifflin St.  Activities associated in the Mifflin St area are UNSANCTIONED.


While Mifflin St varies from year to year, it is routine to see large numbers (1000's) of people congregating in the 400 and 500 blocks of Mifflin St and the surrounds, and mass quantities of alcohol are consumed.  In addition, disturbances, fights, and other similar issues are not uncommon.  Given the density of people and the presence of alcohol, Mifflin St has a significant potential to impact public safety and peace.


In the weeks leading up to this coming weekend, MPD has made a number of contacts in the Mifflin St area, educating the students, residents, and landlords about what is (and is not) appropriate conduct.  MPD is pleased to work in partnership with the UW Dean of Students Office and are glad to of their presence during the event.   As always, MPD is committed to educate.


MPD is also committed to public safety and good order; as such, MPD will be robustly staffing the Mifflin St Block Party.  In addition to MPD personnel, including our Special Events Team (SET), DCSO will also be providing a contingent to assist with maintaining order and safety.


ALL City Ordinances are in full effect for Mifflin St!


MPD discourages attendance of the party; if you decide to participate, please be aware of the following:


There is a glass ban in effect; no glass containers are allowed


Intoxicants are not allowed on public space including sidewalks, terraces, and

the roadway


MPD will be paying special attention to alcohol related concerns including underage persons in possession of intoxicants


MPD's operating philosophy combines education and enforcement; people attending the event should expect to be held accountable for their behavior


There are no amplification permits and any equipment being set up will be removed


It is a violation of Madison ordinances to sell merchandise, alcohol, or food even on private property without a permit

There will be no closure of streets, and traffic and pedestrian laws are still in place


Ordinances and criminal statutes will be enforced


House Parties:you are responsible for what happens on your property; DO NOT allow people into your residence that you do not know



Thank you and be safe!


Jason Freedman

Central District Captain


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