Dane County implementing new strategies to help reduce gun violence

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said more efforts are being taken to help reduce gun violence in Dane County.

Parisi said there is currently a neighborhood intervention program where staff members are working with juveniles. He said this year, the organization has added a staff member to work with them after they turn 18. Parisi also said the county is working to provide more mental health support staff to work out of neighborhood centers and assist those who need it.

Parisi said the uptick in gun violence “is very alarming and it’s obviously tragic. An 11-year-old girl needlessly lost her life due to this violence. We need a very multi-tiered approach. We need to be doing our prevention work at the county, we need our state and federal workers to help us with resources and with looking at the availability of guns.”

Parisi said the county currently invests millions of dollars into prevention programs and strategies, but the city, community and police efforts need to compliment one another in order for the efforts to be successful.

“Everyone has a gun now. There is so much easy access. There are more guns than there are people,” Parisi said. “While we can’t solve that overnight, that also has to be a piece of this. We have to have swift and certain consequences for people who commit violence, we need to work on the root causes of violence and get in and do community building and try to get out ahead of it and we need our partners on the federal and state level to come and help us with this also.”