County Executive Falk Announces Initiative to Prevent Gun Violence

July 23, 2004
Sharyn Wisniewski, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 David W. Carlson, Dept. of Human Services (608) 242-6424
County Executive

Preventing gun violence is the target of a new effort, directed toward youth, being launched in Dane County by County Executive Kathleen Falk and the county’s Department of Human Services, with the support of a State/Federal grant. Known as DC SAFETY (Dane County – Strategic Action on Firearms through Education Targeted to Youth), it has two parts--an educational prevention program in the schools and youth centers, and an intervention program for youth charged with a handgun or firearms offense. “Our rate of firearm homicides is below average, and we want to keep it that way,” said Falk. “We live in a safe community, but we don’t want to be complacent.” The Dane County Department of Human Services was successful in obtaining a $43,983 grant from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance from its Federal “Project Safe Neighborhoods” grant. Prevention efforts will include school presentations for third to eighth graders throughout the county, a county-wide gun trigger lock give-away program, and a DC SAFETY sponsored art / multi-media contest. The intervention aspects of DC SAFETY will include structured groups for youth charged with handgun or firearm offenses, as well as one-to-one contact with youth by the project's manager, Joe Lindstrom. The Department of Human Services will work closely on program activities with law enforcement agencies in the county. The DC SAFETY initiative is funded for a two-year period. # # #