Madison mayor encourages people to speak up following rise in gun violence

MADISON, Wis. — Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is encouraging people to speak up to prevent the next round of gun violence as Madison has seen a rise in gun violence the last month.

According to a statement, Rhodes-Conway says the city is facing an additional challenge, the rise of gun violence in Madison.

“Like many cities across the country, we have seen a disturbing increase in these violent crimes over the last month,” she said.

Rhodes-Conway said gun violence in Madison is not confined to one area in Madison and that it affects the entire city. In that case, she says the response needs to be citywide.

“Traditional policing is an important and necessary strategy, and MPD is working hard to hold accountable those responsible for the recent gun homicides and to respond rapidly to shots fired incidents,” the mayor said. “I have complete confidence in their ability to do so.”

The mayor’s statement comes after a Tuesday night shooting at Garner Park that left three people injured. Several hundred people, including children, were at the park honoring the life of Maurice brown who was shot and killed last month on Schroeder Road.

Police said they recovered thee firearms and more than 60 shell casings.

“The fact that there were no fatalities or not a much higher level of injuries is just something, we’re lucky, we should all be grateful for,” Interim Police Chief Vic Wahl said during a press conference Wednesday.

Rhodes-Conway said to have an effective response, the community is needed. She said every time shots are fired, victims and witnesses need to identify those involved.

“I recognize that may not be easy to do, but I encourage people to take that step. There were children at the memorial service in Garner Park two nights ago that could have been killed. A child’s shin was grazed a week ago on the east side. I know that everyone in Madison wants all our kids to be safe, and we all have to work to keep them safe,” Rhodes-Conway said.

The mayor mentioned that the city also needs community-based prevention strategies. There are two in place Rhodes-Conway mentioned, the work by Focused Interruption Coalition and the JustDane programs funded by the city.

Some communities have also created new types of interventions.

Rhodes-Conway also said one remedy that is “out of our reach is common sense gun control.” She said Madison is pre-empted from taking action on gun control by the Wisconsin Legislature.

“Combatting gun violence in our community will take a community-wide effort, but I am confident we can do that,” she said. “I will continue to work with all our community partners to this end.”