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Madison Police districts strategize to reduce crime this summer

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Over the next three months, the six Madison Police precincts will crack down on different, specific crimes in their districts.

“[We’re] looking at the numbers of what the data was telling us and where we need to focus our efforts,” Capt. Brian Austin of the North District said.

For example, Austin says his officers will hone in on shots fired, burglaries, and car thefts.

The Madison Police quarterly report shows shootings are up 87% in 2021 compared to 2020 and car thefts are up 26% from last year.

“We feel it’s an area where we can make a significant impact in crime rates just through some education,” Austin said.

Meanwhile, at the South District, officers have the same goals in mind, but with a different focus.

“[We are] really examining our domestic calls for service,” Capt. Mike Hanson of the South District said. “We want to reach out to those folks with more resources, more protection to make sure the violence stops.”

Hanson says the other piece of their strategy plan is community engagement.

“In partnering with Operation Fresh Start and the Urban League, we’re doing a traffic lab to help young adults obtain their drivers license,” Hanson said.

Those community plans also vary across the department. Officers say they want to rebuild a relationship with the people of Madison.

“(It helps us) celebrate some commonalities and really find that human connection again because I think that’s what was kind of lost last year,” Austin said.

“It lets the community know, not only are we addressing these things in crime reduction, but we’re involving police with the community,” Hanson said.

In August, police will reassess how those strategies are working. If you’re interested in efforts in your neighborhood, you can contact your local police district for specific information.

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