MADISON, Wis. - Madison police are ramping up downtown patrols to fight an increase in violence that comes when warmer temperatures mix with nightlife.
Violent incidents near University Avenue, Francis Street and State Street are not new, but this year, the city locked in $50,000 to ensure the area has officers on the ground during weekend peak hours.
Andy Hoerig, manager at the Hawk's Bar & Grill on State Street, can remember a number of violent situations.
"Personally, even service industry people who work on State Street after-hours are trying to break up incidents," Hoerig said. "I have several friends who have [broken] noses just this semester from getting involved."
Most of the events, including a shooting last May, happened around closing time on the weekends.
Madison police Capt. Carl Gloede said the department plans to deploy extra officers during bar time. On a basic night, police will deploy a sergeant and four to six officers, though that number could change depending on weekend events.
Madison police will deal with the high volume of calls for service and make an effort to prevent issues from getting out of hand.
Police said a Madison man, 22-year-old Paris Reese, was arrested early Thursday morning after he punched customers and spit on employees at a State Street bar. Police also said he was arrested on a similar offense in February.
The department is now trying to ban him from the area.
Hoerig said he is grateful for the extra police help but believes it is also up to the service industry to manage who comes in and out of their businesses.
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