Madison officials report decrease in violent crimes

City of Madison officials held a news conference Wednesday to address public safety and discuss violent crime statistics.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 9:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - City of Madison officials held a news conference Wednesday to address public safety and discuss violent crime statistics.

Madison Police Department Chief Shon Barnes outlined the agency’s summer strategic plans, which runs from June 1 to Oct. 31. The plan addresses gun crimes, stolen vehicles and traffic crashes. Both MPD staff and the public identified these crimes as the top priorities.

Chief Barnes noted that shots fired calls and homicides are down this year compared to last year. Stolen vehicle thefts are up this year, especially with Kia and Hyudai models. Barnes said that if they were to take those models out of the statistics, Madison would be well below the three-year average for stolen cars.

“Again, our violent crime is decreasing, it’s definitely trending in the right direction,” Barnes. “We still have some more work to do on that but I think we’re headed in the right direction.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway emphasized the importance of using various services to address violent crime, including mental health resources like the Madison CARES Team, youth employment and affordable housing.

“But MPD can’t do this work alone and a lot of work has been making it possible for the police department to focus on law enforcement which is their specialty and where their attention should be,” Rhodes Conway said. “We need help across the board to make sure that we can shift some of the burden off of law enforcement and in particular, we need the help of our partners in the state and federal government to keep guns out of the hands of people who commit crimes.”

Officials also addressed the number of crashes being down this year compared to last year, by 5% overall. Crashes involving deaths and serious injuries are also down by 40%.

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