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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 25, 2024
soglin and police

Mayor Paul Soglin said city officials will analyze the outcome of this year’s Mifflin Street Block Party before deciding how to plan for the future of the event.

Soglin: Too soon to decide Mifflin’s future

City officials met with Mayor Paul Soglin at a closed meeting Wednesday to determine how the results of this year’s Mifflin Street Block Party will affect the event in the future.

Soglin told The Daily Cardinal the city cannot make any long-term decisions about the future of the Mifflin block party only four days after the event.

“It’s too early to really make all these decisions, make all these judgments,” Soglin said.

The mayor said city officials will need to have several meetings to analyze specific details about the party like police enforcement and costs to the city.

Madison Police Department Lt. Dave McCaw said the MPD will evaluate the number of arrests and citations from this weekend before calculating the final crime statistics.

Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said he believed the environment was safer than prior years because of the police department’s zero-tolerance attitude toward ordinance violations like open intoxicants on the street, which resulted in a large number of tickets and citations.

McCaw also said this year’s party was significantly less violent than last year’s event, particularly since there had been no reported sexual assaults as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ll wait a little bit until we say we haven’t had any [sexual assaults],” McCaw said. “If we maintain this, I’ll be very pleased.”

In addition to three sexual assaults at the 2011 block party, there were two stabbings and three injured police officers.

McCaw said police did not use the new Nuisance Party Ordinance to break up any parties on Saturday.

The ordinance, passed in late February, provides a set of guidelines police can use to use to stop and break up extraordinarily disruptive parties.

Despite welcoming the safer environment, Soglin said the financial costs of the event were high because of additional police staffing and the number of citations police issued to people.

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“I’m satisfied with the reduction in violence and assaults,” Soglin said. “But we need to do an evaluation of the expenses.”

But Resnick said the city will discuss how the event should continue in the future.

“I still believe that there is still merit to the event and to having a safe event toward the end of the year,” Resnick said. “Whether that’s the Mifflin Street Block Party or something new, those are conversations that we’re going to be having for the next year.”

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