Emergency Medicine

Dr. Stephen Hargarten Discusses Milwaukee’s Rising Homicide Rate

Milwaukee County has been seeing a rise in homicides over the last few years. In 2020 and 2021, 215 and 222 homicides were recorded by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office. Reggie Moore, former director of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention, pushes for the need for homicides to be approached as a public health concern. Dr. Stephen Hargarten also adds that understanding homicide as a public health problem is “critically important”

Dr. Stephen Hargarten, professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and founding director of the Comprehensive Injury Center, states that the rise in homicides in 2020 may not have one clear explanation. “In 2020, the pandemic produced anxiety, workforce shutdowns, and the related economic strain” states Dr. Hargarten. Those reasons, plus protests and unrest, may have contributed to setting the stage for a rise in homicides. He also adds that it is important for researchers to have data on people involved in other gun-related incidents, not just homicide victims.

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