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Editorial: Enforcing the ordinance

Publication Date: 2005-07-12
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:The Capital Times
The enforcement of Madison's new indoor anti-smoking ordinance has gone exceptionally smoothly.

There have been no arrests, no fines and, by all accounts, no major enforcement problems.

That's something to celebrate. Yet leaders of the union that represents Madison police officers have suggested that more city money should be allocated to the Police Department to pay for enforcement of the law. That seems premature.

Ultimately, the enforcement of the law is likely to be based on complaints from patrons of local establishments, rather than constant inspections and surveillance.

That should keep demands on the police to a reasonable minimum.

If, over time, it becomes clear that significant new enforcement responsibilities are falling on police officers, then by all means there should be an increase in funding and, perhaps, staffing.

But it is way too early for such decisions now.