So check this article (emphasis mine): After shooting, Downtown leaders join in push to improve safety
Some of the things being considered include putting more police on the street late at night and on weekends, enacting tougher rules on loitering and panhandling, seeking more cooperation between police and bar owners, and a grass-roots initiative asking residents and others to report crime and suspicious behavior.
Um no, the part in bold doesn’t address the problem.
Read through the rest of the article and see what kind of crimes are happening:
Downtown safety took special urgency after shots were fired into a crowd of more than 100 people, wounding three, outside bars on the 600 block of University Avenue early Saturday morning.
The incident was especially troubling because surveillance video shows several people brandishing or firing weapons, some of them lingering in the area even after police arrived
Downtown violence has been escalating, initially with a spate of robberies, beatings and assaults several years ago and more recently with groups hanging outside bars in an area known as “The Strip” on the 600 block of University Avenue, Frances Street, and the 500 block of State Street, Gloede said.
The city delivered $100,000 several years ago for a Downtown Safety Initiative that put extra police officers on duty weekend nights and cut down on the number of robberies, beatings and assaults, Gloede said. But funding was cut in half in recent city budgets, he said.
[Thanks Governor Walker for cuts to state aid to cities!]
How many of those serious crimes have anything to do with loitering or panhandling? (None is the correct answer). If Madison is serious about solving crime, it shouldn’t get sidetracked. I don’t think there is always adequate police presence in the 600th block of University. It’s just way too many people drinking and being in too small of a space. Perhaps if the ALRC works to limit capacity for bars in the area (which they might), combined with stepped up police presence in the area, that might help matters.
I do like all the other ideas though, grassroots initiatives involving residents is good as long as no goes George Zimmerman…
although *ahem* as a far West-sider I wouldn’t object to more police out in this part of town, especially in the Hammersly Road area. It does seem like I’ve seen more police cars around lately.
Categories: | Madison | Media | Public Safety