Madison police are hoping Saturday’s Mifflin Street Block Party is not a repeat of last year’s mayhem. “There will be a higher presence of law enforcement, and less tolerance for illegal activity,” said Madison Police Captain Carl Gloede. “The Mifflin Street Block Party has become an event that is unsafe.” There were a lot of drunken kids last year, and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin was not happy. “I was convinced that we were never going to do anything like this again,” he said following a fiasco which featured sexual assaults, stabbings, injured police officers, and scores of arrests. Taxpayers were on the hook for more than $100,000 in costs associated with the party. “The simple problem is too much alcohol,” the mayor said.
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This year, the city has toughened up, prohibiting alcohol on the street, and live music. “No trespassing signs” have been posted on houses which are hosting drinking parties. Despite those efforts, it’s expected that large crowds will show up. “People just know, and they come,” said Gloede, the Central District Police commander. “It will take time for that to go away, but it’s apparent that needs to happen.”