Madison officials examined the city’s public safety department emergency preparedness at a Thursday press conference, declaring while they are ready to respond to tragedies, they are looking to improve prevention.
Mayor Paul Soglin and Madison Chief of Police Mike Koval said they would like to take steps to prevent these incidents before they occur, focusing on the need for more stringent weapon restrictions.
“There is just too much firepower out there, and that the proliferation of weapons in the last couple of decades clearly contributes to the problems we have here,” Soglin said. “The fact that so many of these incidents are perpetrated by individuals who have legally obtained the weapons demonstrates that the kinds of laws we needed, that we’ve have in the past [and] that have expired need attention today.”
Koval said that while Madison police are trained to deal with tragedies, they are often unable to respond before the incident has occurred and that they should shift to a system that can prevent tragedies as well as it can respond to them.
“The threat assessment would obviously involve doing a better job at identifying behaviors, evaluating those behaviors, and then creating an opportunity for a timely intervention in a collaborative way to prevent the sort of misery that we’re seeing wreaked all too often on our television screens,” Koval said.
He told people in the community to report suspicious behaviors to the police, who would then examine the behavior and act accordingly.
Meanwhile, Madison safety departments have taken precautions in the event of a tragedy.
“Police and fire have taken the initiative and have worked with numerous public and private institutions in regards to a safety plan for all events,” Soglin said. “And both departments are available for consultation for anybody who is concerned about their well-being.”