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Madison police seek to limit number of late-night bars

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Madison police want to reduce fights and criminal activity at campus-area bars by limiting the number of establishments that allow customers in after 1:30 a.m.

City police last year restricted seven bars near the University of Wisconsin from letting people in after 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Madison officials are considering requiring nine other establishments to follow the same rule, starting July 1.

Police Capt. Jason Freedman said the no-late-entry policy was implemented following an increase in police calls to downtown in recent years. Freedman said the area near campus has started seeing more non-college residents, some of whom are gang-affiliated or armed.

"Thus we have our longtime baseline of violence and issues associated with students plus newcomers who are committing violent acts," he said.

Police are pushing to expand the policy after seeing its success in discouraging trouble, Freedman said.

Alderman Mike Verveer, who represents the core downtown area, said the condition has been met with grudging acceptance by the bars where it was imposed last year.

The city's Alcohol License Review Committee is also looking to revoke or refuse to renew the liquor license held by Madison's only strip club, Visions Night Club. The site has drawn criminal activity in recent years, including a shooting that injured five people last December.

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