Quotes sees dip in police calls
WCLO's Beth Wheelock reports on progress during the tavern's probation period.
JANESVILLE Janesville police saw the "marked improvement" they wanted to avoid closing Quotes early on weekend nights, but the trend must continue, Deputy Police Chief Dan Davis said.
Police responded to six calls for service in July to the bar at 24 N. Main St., Janesville, Davis said. That was 22 percent of police calls to bars during July, which is down from the 42 percent of bar calls that went to Quotes previously, Davis said.
That improvement allowed Quotes owner Denise Carpenter to avoid closing at 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The city's alcohol license and advisory committee Tuesday morning told Carpenter to keep doing what she did during July and report back in October, Davis said.
"Simply because Quotes has had one good month doesn't mean this is over," he said. "Everyone acknowledges that a 30-day sample size is too small. We want a bigger sample size to look at."
Davis said his and the committee's biggest concerns were:
n Fights causing injuries.
n Staff being too aggressive and not handling patrons properly.
Most of the fights took place after 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, which is why Davis in early July recommended Quotes' alcohol license be restricted to a 12:30 a.m. closing time on those days.
Carpenter at the time told Davis the change would potentially be fatal to her business. She said she would make changes to reduce police calls to the bar, including rerouting bar traffic to allow exits only out the back, reducing the bar's occupancy and creating a waiting line.
The Gazette was unable to reach Carpenter for comment.
Carpenter has said police calls to her bar are high because she has been encouraged to call police about trouble in the past.
Davis on Tuesday said Quotes could not solve the problem by avoiding calling police. In the past, when other problem establishments tried to limit police contact to make it look like things were going smoothly, the truth surfaced, he said.
"If they are trying to operate under the guise that things are fine, someone will show up in the front lobby (at the police department) or in the emergency room, and they'll tell us they were injured at a licensed establishment," Davis said. "That's a big problem."