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MADISON, Wis. - When a private security company was hired in mid-December to patrol the City-County Building, the hope was that a series of late-night break-ins and disturbances would be curbed.
Within weeks of the start of those patrols, another break-in was discovered by a building maintenance worker, who called police on Dec. 30.
When Madison police responded they found 75-year-old Kenneth Horenkamp inside the Municipal Court and Council Chamber on the second floor of the CCB.
Late night break-ins to the Municipal Court are nothing new. Police said Horenkamp was involved in a December break-in in which feces were found in the courtroom. Madison Police records show that Horenkamp was cited for trespassing 18 times in the last two months.
“The individual that has been repeatedly breaking into the Council Chamber, which is also the Municipal Courtroom, has been using that to sleep and using it as his personal bathroom and has been kind of egregious in his actions and belligerent, as well as saying, 'There’s no sanctions. I’m just going to keep doing this. There’s not a damned thing you can do about it,'” Madison Alder Paul Skidmore said.
Skidmore said most of the problems at the CCB involving break-ins and disturbances involve a handful of individuals. He said while the building serves as a respite from the cold for the homeless during the winter, most are respectful and cause no problems.
He said the handful who are causing problems do so with regularity.
“When you look at the calls for service, there are probably a dozen or so repeat offenders that have this happen habitually,” Skidmore said.
As a result, Skidmore plans to craft a change to a city ordinance to provide punishment for repeat offenders and discourage future problems.
“As an alder I’m going to be looking into legislation, an ordinance change, that will identify those repeat offenders and have a penalty within our city ordinance that would have them either banned from municipal buildings or some other sanction, including additional sanctions other than just giving them a municipal citation,” Skidmore said.
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