City of Madison leaders discuss public safety, community initiatives

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:55 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - City of Madison officials held a briefing Thursday where they discussed public safety in the community.

“One of the most concerning impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the elevated levels of violence across the country, including here in our community.”

Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway spoke about the city’s collaboration with Public Health Madison and Dane County, the Madison Fire Department and Madison Police Department. All three departments went over the last year of specific programs within their agencies.

The MPD reviewed its 2022 Summer Strategic Plan, which focused on stolen vehicles, shots fired incidents and traffic crashes between June 1 and Oct. 31.

Chief Shon Barnes said there was a 21% reduction in the number of shots fired incidents compared to the same time last year.

“We do have a safe city, we’re trending in the right direction, we’re working collaboratively and we’re certainly focused on reducing violent crime and returning the city to the city that we all remember,” Barnes said.

The Madison CARES program was also discussed during the briefing. The mental health crisis response service team is staffed by paramedics and crisis workers to help patients with their specific needs and reduce patient contact with the police.

In the first year, the program responded to more than 14,000 calls. Of those calls, about 3% of patients needed to be transferred to police.

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