New Year’s Eve means increased police patrols to ensure safety

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE -- On New Year's Eve, the celebration was on along Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. Meanwhile, police increased patrols throughout the Milwaukee area, to ensure safety during the night of revelry.

On holidays like New Year's Eve, Milwaukee's Water Street is generally one of the busiest areas as bars draw large crowds -- and the large crowds means more police.

Joshua Janis owns the Red Rock Saloon and McGillycuddy's on Water Street. Janis says he welcomes bid crowds that come with New Year's Eve.

"It's really great for us because so many people come out and celebrate with us. It's really fun, and it's cool to share in the excitement. People are really excited about the New Year," Janis said.

With that excitement, things can sometimes get out of control. That's why the Milwaukee Police Department was out in force on New Year's Eve.

"We've got extra officers deployed in every district. We know some of our more challenging areas, and we've got extra officers out there," MPD Captain Stephen Basting said.

On a holiday like New Year's Eve when binge drinking is common, officers watched for people driving under the influence.

"If you have to drive, just stay off that cell phone and stay off that texting. Just be aware that pretty much everybody that's on the road has been drinking. We're going to be looking for that. We'll be out there in force to help deal with that," Capt. Basting said.

To help discourage drinking and driving, Janis' staff will call cabs for their customers who shouldn't be driving. 

"We've got to make sure we know the warning signs of being impaired and take it from there," Janis said.