Wausau police crack down on 400 Block alcohol violations - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau police crack down on 400 Block alcohol violations


Wednesday night, Wausau's 400 Block hosted the last "Concert on the Square" of the summer. Hundreds packed the outdoor concert venue. Also in attendance: Wausau Police.

Authorities were watching for people who took alcohol off the square, and into downtown.

"We have been warning people that they have to stay in the 400 block to consume alcohol," Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel said.

He told Newsline 9 the police department has received numerous complaints about people breaking the rules despite warnings from officers.

"There doesn't seem to be a reduction in the violations," he said.

That's why police are cracking down. At last week's concert, Wausau police ticketed three people for having open intoxicants outside the square. But many concert-goers said the extra police attention isn't necessary.

"We're not going to abuse it. We love coming out here," John Mason of Rhinelander said.

Weston resident JoAnn Rothmeyer added, "So far, I've never seen anybody get out of hand with it."

Some people argue it's a small number of people who are ruining the fun.

"If we're not supposed to take it off the square, you don't take it off the square," Cyndi Reuter said. She enjoys having a drink while watching the show, but said she can understand the confusion regarding where you can and can't have alcohol outside.

"I didn't realize that at first until someone told me," she said.

Chief Hardel said officers are doing their best to make the rules known and stop people who break them. 

"We have to make sure that we hold people accountable at all levels," he said.

As of 9:40 p.m. Wednesday night, Wausau police reported at least six people who had been ticketed for violating alcohol rules.

Hardel said police prioritize the number of officers patrolling the 400 Block based on staffing and the volume of calls received.


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