Neillsville Police stepping up police presence for homecoming week

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 9:06 PM CDT
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NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (WEAU) - The School District of Neillsville is celebrating its homecoming all of next week.

But, this year things will look different said Neillsville Police Chief Jim Mankowski.

“We’ve reached out to other law enforcement agencies, Trempealeau County, the City of Thorpe, Stratford Police Department and Clark County. So we’re going to have a strong law enforcement presence on the streets,” Chief Mankowski.

He said it is not unusual for the students to get rowdy for homecoming each year, but last year they were way out of control, wrecking havoc around town.

“That’s what I heard. Yeah. Toilet paper is fine, but, you know, picnic tables in the road are a different thing,” said Donnie Bryan, a parent with two daughters attending school in Neillsville.

Chief Mankowski said other incidents included saran wrapping fire hydrants, destroying park property and egging houses along Hewett Street. That serves as an artery of the small city.

“Some of the high school students are from our community and some of them come in from neighboring communities. And last year, it was a free for all,” said Chief Mankowski.

Some community members agree with the move to have more police.

“The increased presence? Not a big deal, is what it is,” said Bryan.

“I think that’s probably a good thing to have cops up there just to make sure nothing happens. To know that everbody is safe. And, you know, an extra cop or two doesn’t hurt to have around you know? Better to be safe than sorry,” said Travis Lewis, who has a daughter attending school in Neillsville.

Other community members said students trying to have fun does not warrant the response.

“You go to towns and if you see a toilet paper, to me it shows school pride. I mean, there’s always some that go overboard and and create, you know, do vandalism and that which isn’t right either,” said Jay Wilke, a resident of Neillsville.

Arresting students is not the goal for Chief Mankowski, only to be prepared in case the crowds become more than what his team of six full officers can handle.

WEAU did reach out to the School District of Neillsville superintendent, but he was not available for an interview.

Homecoming week in Neillsville kicks off Sunday.