WAUKESHA - Dozens of teens are believed to be
responsible for a string of fights and disorderly conduct
violations at recent Friday Night Lives, leading police and
event organizers to ramp up their efforts to ensure a safe,
family-friendly environment for guests.
Multiple arrests were made by the Waukesha Police
Department during last week’s FNL - many of which were caused by
the group of juveniles who were fighting with each other, using
profane language and in some cases, resisting officers.
To combat the spread of such behavior at the
event, the department is planning an increased presence at
tonight’s Friday Night Live, including more officers and a
mobile command post stationed in the area.
“We are realizing we need to address the safety
concerns down there and address the concerns of everybody else
who goes there to have a good time,” Waukesha Police Capt. Ron
Oremus said. “... We also really want to focus on the good kids
in that group to try and establish a friendly relationship with
them and hopefully they can see we are there really to keep
everybody having a good time.”
Between 50 and 75 juveniles between the ages of
14 and 18 have been congregating on the east side of the event
on Main Street in recent weeks, Oremus said. Some of the teens
are locals, while others are dropped off from Milwaukee to meet
with friends in Waukesha.
While they typically begin fighting, or play
fighting, among themselves, their behavior has become disruptive
to other guests looking to enjoy the family-friendly nature of
“What we believe is that the majority of those
kids are probably good kids that have no intention of doing
anything wrong,” Oremus said. “However, sometimes that group
mentality sets in and some of these are bad kids that just find
themselves acting out.”
According to the Police Department’s press report
from last Friday, officers responded to at least five separate
incidents - including disorderly conduct, fighting and juvenile
trouble - in the area of Friday Night Live while the event was
In addition to an increased police presence, the
department will also be video-recording the crowd at this week’s
event to document any further disorderly behavior.
The Police Department has met with the Waukesha
Downtown Business Association this week to coordinate efforts.
Susie Taylor, who organizes FNL along with her brother-in-law
Don Taylor, said she is aware of recent incidents and has
drafted a code of conduct for guests that will go into effect
“Some of the kids ... might need to be reminded
about the expectations or how to behave at an event,” she said.
“We want to make these kids aware of the rules right off the
bat. They have to behave to be here. Everyone is welcome as long
as they behave.”
Taylor said guests will be asked to walk or ride
bicycles slowly at the event, while trick skateboarding, profane
language - which Taylor believes is the root of many of the
disorderly conduct complaints - and fighting or play fighting
are all prohibited.
In addition, all dogs must be kept on leashes and
alcohol can only be consumed on the street in the permitted
Both Oremus and Taylor stressed that Friday Night
Live remains a safe event, and these new measures are only there
to keep things from getting out of hand in the future.
“We don’t want bad apples trying to wreck what
has become a real positive event for the downtown, so we are
going to prevent that from happening some way or another,”
Oremus said. “We hope these efforts we put in (tonight) will be
a good start to that.”
New code of
conduct for Friday Night Live, effective tonight:
must walk or ride bicycles slowly.
skateboarding, profane language, fighting or play fighting are
must be on leashes.
can only be consumed in permitted dining areas.