Madison Police Department Chief Noble Wray has withdrawn support for the keg-registration ordinance.

According to Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, the police chief has backed down from his original support for the proposal.

"My understanding is the MPD's position on the keg-registration ordinance has changed," he said in a phone interview Tuesday night.

As support wanes over this debated proposal, the Public Safety Review Board also voted to put the proposal for the keg ordinance on file at a meeting Tuesday.

The Common Council is scheduled to hear the item again next Tuesday.

At the meeting, committee members summarized the purpose of the ordinance, saying it was to reduce the size and number of house parties and to also reduce, but not solve, problems tied to over-consumption of alcohol in the City of Madison.

But Ald. Austin King, District 8, a member of the Public Safety Review Board, said this is the second time the committee has rejected the proposal. While the committee has been mostly concerned with public safety consequences, King said he believes the proposal may have negative effects.

"I think it's true that the ordinance would push alcohol consumption from kegs to handles of hard liquor," King said. "I am hoping [this proposal] gets placed on file appropriately next Tuesday."

Though the Madison School District, the University of Wisconsin Police Department, UW Housing and other organizations still support the ordinance, according to the committee, support from the Madison Police Department will be crucial for its approval.

Even with a number of organizations in favor of implementing keg registration, King said opposition to the ordinance has also been strong.

He said if the keg ordinance is not approved next Tuesday, it will be the fourth consecutive time the council has voted against the proposal.

Ald. Paul Skidmore, District 9, Public Safety Review Board member and main proponent of the keg ordinance, said the lack of support has been frustrating.

"I'm extremely disappointed that the Madison Police Department didn't pull their support," Skidmore added.

Even though the ordinance was recently revised and presented to the committee in the new format, King said the alterations did not affect his views on the subject.

"In my opinion, [the keg ordinance] was bad and an unnecessary over-regulation placed on the public," King said.

University of Wisconsin junior and candidate for the Dane County Board of Supervisors Ashok Kumar said he agrees with King's assertions and is pleased with the number of people working against the ordinance.

Kumar said the process of keg registration would only lead students to consume hard alcohol. He added that sexual assault issues, one of the main problems with alcohol, would still not be addressed or solved by implementing keg registration.

"I hope more people realize this solution might just be part of the problem," Kumar said. "College students are looking to have fun, and there are other alternatives to the problem of underage drinking that people could support."

The final decision on the keg ordinance will be made at the Common Council meeting next Tuesday. If the council rejects the proposal, it will end further debate on the keg-registration issue.

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