Police Have Zero Tolerance for Sawdust Days Trouble Makers - WBAY

Police Have Zero Tolerance for Sawdust Days Trouble Makers

Oshkosh - Oshkosh Police have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to trouble makers at the city's annual Sawdust Days. The police are enforcing a city code that allows them to ban people from the park if they get arrested.

Tens of thousands of people will fill Menominee Park to celebrate the Fourth of July. They come to eat, drink, shop, enjoy music, and the carnival rides. For many, Sawdust Days is a family tradition.

"We hit the parade first and then we head out, do it every year just to walk around," says Ann Wing of Oshkosh. "We don't stay too long, but just enough to see everything and every fourth of July we tend to do that."

And every year, according to police, there are some people who struggle to act appropriately at the festival and find themselves on the wrong side of the law. This year, police tell us, they are relying on a city ordinance that allows them to suspend anyone who is arrested at the park from coming back on the premises at least through the weekend.

"If we leave them in the park it doesn't send the right message. The park is a privilege not a right," says Lt. Don Wilson from the Oshkosh Police Department.

While police say it's only a small percentage of people who cause problems out here, by banning them, authorities believe they're ensuring families can all enjoy themselves.

Adds Lt. Wilson, "If you have a couple of trouble makers down here that are causing grief, if we can take those out of the equation by evicting them from the park and not letting them back in during the event, those people that are around them those 100 to 200 people have a much enjoyable time down here."

It's an effort families say they appreciate.

Ann Wing says, "I think this is mainly for families so once you start getting problems and stuff I think it's time to go, call it a day."

Peter Yost of Oshkosh adds "I think it's probably a step in the right direction. It's always been family event and we want to keep it that way."

Police say since the event started yesterday they've only arrested and suspended one person from the park.
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