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.
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Members of DC SAFETY Advisory Board
Jackie Millar--Victim of firearm violence—347-6638
Larry Gleasman—Gun Shop Owner, Grandpa’s Gun Shop—212-1880
Ethan Ellestad—Facilitator, Dane County Youth Board—242-6426
Mary Pat Chvala—Safety Education Officer, Madison Police Department—266-4483
Trish Bishop—Dane County Sheriff’s Department—267-4936
Gina Curry—Public Health Nurse—443-5538
Ted Balistreri—Madison Metropolitan School District—663-1607
Eugene Johnson—Madison Pentecostal Assembly--267-9527
Gus Doyle—Juvenile Justice Commission—239-4943
Mary O’Donnell—City of Madison Youth Services Coordinator—261-9122
Tom Miles—Deerfield Community Center—608-764-5935
Kathy Sorenson—Project HUGS—845-6140
Jim Moeser—Juvenile Court Administrator—266-9130
Steve Barber—Joining Forces for Families—828-9373