2014 Oktoberfest Recap

Chief Ron Tischer and members of the La Crosse Police Department would like to thank the responsible citizens, volunteers, businesses, and organizations of the La Crosse community, as well as outside law enforcement agencies, for all of their help during Oktoberfest 2014.

The La Crosse Police Department was extremely busy with a lot of activity and calls for service during Oktoberfest weekend which began with the Torchlight Parade on Thursday, September 25th and ended Sunday, September 28th. As with every Oktoberfest event, we bring in WI State Troopers to work traffic crashes, OWI patrol, and answer calls for service along with our regular beat patrol. We then deploy increased numbers of our officers, as well as out-of-town officers, to areas needing extra police presence, specifically the Downtown and Campus areas. This year, our deployment strategy included a more mobile presence in the campus area. This included increased foot and bicycle patrols in this area due to the number of parties and people on the streets, in yards, and on sidewalks. The campus area command post was also present for the third straight year.

In the downtown area, for the 8th year in a row, the 3rd Street Aid Station proved to be a huge success. Over 2,600 people were assisted by the 3rd Street Aid Station staff which included members of the La Crosse Police Department, Fortney Companies, La Crosse Area Law Enforcement Chaplains, Subway, and student volunteers from Viterbo, UWL, Western, and Globe University. Basic assistance included help finding a cab, charging cell phones, providing water and simple snacks, and much more. Unfortunately, there was a noticeable increase in the number of patrons consuming alcohol until the point of passing out.  This dangerous behavior drains law enforcement and first responder resources.

Operation River Watch, with the La Crosse Police Reserves, provided expanded coverage to the Riverside Park area and made many contacts.

The La Crosse Police Water Patrol had a boat in the water as a safety precaution patrolling the Mississippi and Black Rivers between the North and South Side Fest ground areas. The La Crosse Police boat patrol responded on Friday night of a call for help from a boater that had struck a submerged tree in front of Riverside Park. The operator and his passenger were rescued, and their disabled boat was towed to the shoreline where it was secured as it partially sank.

Overall, as the 2014 Oktoberfest Statistics show, it was an extremely busy weekend with reports of Criminal Damage to Property to residences and vehicles. One car was tipped early Sunday morning in the 200 block of 11th Street North. There were also several vehicles with smashed windows in this neighborhood. Many contacts made in the Campus area were with college students from outside the greater La Crosse area. The Police Department looks forward to working with local colleges to prevent this type of influx of students. Click here for statistics from last year’s Oktoberfest.

2014 Oktoberfest Statistics

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