Music On Main creates challenges for police
BOZEMAN, Mont. - While people were out out enjoying themselves for the first Music on Main of the summer, the Police Department was hard at work. Bozeman Police explained Music On Main is one of the most difficult events they deal with all year. Every Thursday night through the summer, hundreds of people pack Bozeman's Main Street for Music On Main. While it's fun for many who crowd the street for the food and music, Bozeman Police say that means they are bound to be deal with problems. The Bozeman PD said Music On Main is the most unique event they deal with all year because of the sheer number of people who show up downtown. With more people downtown, Sergeant Jim Veltkamp said there are more of officers out, too. The Department increases their patrols every Thursday night through the summer. "We have anywhere from seven to nine officers just assigned to the downtown area for Music on Main," Veltkamp said. Officers keep their eyes on people walking around with open containers on Main Street during the event. "It's a long period of time for a lot of people to stay downtown and cause additional problems," Sgt. Veltkamp said. Veltkamp explained it prompts people to start drinking earlier than they normally might, leading to problems later on in the night. "Many of the people get intoxicated early on and stay a long time after that," Veltkamp said. Another hurdle: the road opens back up at 8:30, when Music On Main ends, and police are responsible for getting everyone off the road. "As soon as we open, we have a lot of cars and even semis traveling through town going the speed limit," he explained. Then, he says many drinkers stay downtown, and keep drinking. "When the level of intoxication increases, that's when we have increased activity including fights and medical calls," Veltkamp said. Sgt. Veltkamp said that's why the night is busy for them, and stresses the importance of staying safe while enjoying Music On Main. "If there's a designated driver, which there should be, if that person can kind of keep a sense of when to call it, when enough is enough," Veltkamp said. Music On Main continues ever Thursday night for eight weeks throughout the summer.