Gov. Tony Evers | Evers’ Facebook
Gov. Tony Evers has announced $800,000 in federal funding for the city of Racine, to be allocated towards public safety initiatives focusing on a public health approach to violence prevention. Evers stated that the investments, “in addition to strategic investments we have already made, will help curb the cycle of violence in southeastern Wisconsin while ensuring young people are meaningfully engaged in their communities this summer and supporting local community programming to interrupt violence before it starts.”
The funds include $225,000 to begin a “Safe and Sound” program, designed to engage young people, neighbors and community organizations to foster cooperative relationships with law enforcement. Additionally, $150,000 will help fund a dedicated Violence Interruption Coordinator at the city’s public health department. Another $50,000 will help Racine expand its credible messenger program, geared towards youth who are at risk of entering the justice system. New purchases of license-plate reader technology, surveillance cameras deployed in areas with higher rates of crime, and police overtime costs will be funded by another $250,000 investment.
The announcement comes nearly a month after Evers announced $2.2 million to augment the Milwaukee Police Department. That will fund the hiring of civilian contractors to work on ballistic technology used in gun investigations, and the processing of sexual assault kits. In October 2021, nearly $100 million was invested in violence prevention and community safety in southeastern Wisconsin. That included $45 million for statewide intervention efforts and crime victim support, $50 million for local law enforcement agencies and to reduce pandemic-related backlog. Another $1 million was allocated to Milwaukee for summer youth programming and job training.
“I take the safety of our residents incredibly seriously and I know that we must do everything we can to address the gun violence that is spreading throughout the community,” said Racine Mayor Cory Mason. “However, I also know that the city can’t do this on its own and that it takes partnerships — at many levels — to make real impacts. I can’t thank the governor enough for recognizing the crisis we face and for his willingness to partner and invest real resources into our city to help keep us all safe.” Mason added that the additional support aids law enforcement while building on “community programs aimed to stem the violence and reduce the trauma felt throughout the community.”
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