Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


District 4 alder holds neighborhood meeting to discuss Mifflin Block Party safety

MPD to take extra safety measures, precautions at block party this year
Riley Steinbrenner

District 4 Alder Mike Verveer held a neighborhood meeting Thursday ahead of the April 29 Mifflin Street Block Party to ensure the enforcement of safety protocols.

Attendees included Assistant Dean of Students Tonya Schmidt, representatives from the Madison Police and Fire Departments, the City of Madison Building Inspection and local neighbors with concerns and input regarding the block party. 

Last year, the block party gathered over 10,000 people spread out between Dayton Street and W. Washington Avenue. Forty-five people were arrested and one person was sent to the Dane County Jail during the event.


Many aspects of safety have remained a concern on Mifflin Street. In 2021, at least two car windshields were smashed by partiers at the Mifflin Street Block Party. In 2022, rotting wood caused a second-story balcony to collapse during the Mifflin Street Block Party, injuring three people and hospitalizing two.

This year, the Block Party will take place in the wake of the death of a UW student. According to a release from the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, the student died April 7 in an accident on Mifflin Street.

The purpose of the meeting was to give renters, landlords and students alike the opportunity to discuss methods to address the safety concerns that emerge every year from the party. 

The overarching theme associated with the panelists’ discourses was that no one from their respective departments is looking forward to the upcoming function.

“We are not excited about the Mifflin Block Party. Quite on the contrary, we are dreading it,” MPD Central District Captain Mike Hanson said. “No one sanctions this event which means there is no control over how many people will turn up . . . Quite frankly, our team is looking forward to the day that this tradition becomes a thing of the past.”

American Red Cross, Madison Fire Department installs free smoke alarms to increase fire safety

While the unfavorable aspects of the block party were thoroughly discussed by each panelist, some Mifflin area residents also spoke out on their grievances with the event. 

Will Sweeney, a senior at the University of Wisconsin, has lived on Mifflin Street with his three roommates for the past two years. Sweeney raised concerns to the panelists about overcrowding, trespassing and vandalism, hoping to facilitate discussion about safety potential measures in an effort to prevent these from happening.

Sweeney decided to attend the meeting in light of an incident that took place last year at the Mifflin Block Party. Sweeney and his roommates received a citation from MPD for nuisance after his backyard quickly became dangerously overcrowded during the onset of the party. 

“All of a sudden there were a million people. We don’t have a lot of control over the backyard because we are more concerned with keeping people from coming in the front,” Sweeney said. “How do we address an instance where we become overwhelmed, and all of a sudden we, the homeowners, are to blame?”

Officer Jane Preston suggested setting up cheap fencing in the backyard and purchasing “No Trespassing” signs to hang up around the house as a potential solution. Preston stated that this measure would allow for an increased sense of security for the homeowners and also facilitate the police department’s job of catching trespassers. 

State Street Starbucks becomes second Madison store to organize for union

Hanson and Preston shed more light on new safety measures and precautions being taken by the MPD this year. There will be a heavy police presence at the event, and officers will be going porch to porch to ensure no one’s home is overrun. MPD representatives also drones will be implemented to monitor crowd swelling and potential criminal activity, notably in backyards and portions of the street where it is difficult for police to access. 

As a closing remark, Schmidt delivered a list of tips for students to keep in mind while attending the party. 

  • Be alert and aware. A reminder that street drugs are being laced with deadly amounts of fentanyl, so take care of yourself and one another.
  • See something? Say something. If you’re  worried about a friend, fill out an incident report.  Be a part of the community – Badgers help one another.
  • Does your friend need help? UW’s  Medical Amnesty Through Responsible Action guidelines allows you to  get help for others without fear of repercussion.  (If it’s a life-threatening emergency, immediately call 911) 
  • Be kind. Not everyone celebrates or socializes in the same way, and it’s important to show respect to fellow Badgers and community members always.  
  • Practice moderation. Always eat before drinking alcohol and stay hydrated with water. 
  • Look out for each other. If noticing a harmful situation, distract or interrupt the situation, delegate someone else to help, or be direct and check in.
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *