By Press Release Submitted to Published May 23, 2022 at 1:31 PM Photography: Visit Milwaukee

Gov. Tony Evers today announced an additional more than $2.2 million in funding directed towards the city of Milwaukee for violence prevention and to help the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) to take immediate steps to address crime. Today’s announcement is in addition to the governor’s previous investments of more than $100 million to support violence prevention efforts, crime victims, and local and tribal law enforcement agencies, as well as funding to help alleviate the pandemic-related backlog of criminal cases through additional public defender and assistant district attorney support.

“Every family and every kid deserves safe communities to live, work, learn, and play in, and that includes the city of Milwaukee,” said Gov. Evers. “Violence is never the answer, and I am hopeful that today's investment, paired with the more than $100 million investments we have made already, will give the city of Milwaukee some additional tools to curb crime and keep folks safe.”

The more than $2.2 million investment announced today will help MPD hire civilian contractors to manage crime fighting tools such as ballistics technology used to investigate gun crimes and the processing of sexual assault kits, allowing MPD to shift staffing resources to other pressing needs. A portion of the funds will be available for MPD officer overtime costs in Downtown Milwaukee this summer. Additionally, the investment will allow the city of Milwaukee to install Downtown security fencing that can be remotely raised and lowered, transforming the Downtown entertainment corridors into pedestrian-only zones on weekends and during major Downtown events. Finally, the funding will help MPD purchase several pieces of equipment, including forensic workstations, night vision devices, air tanks, and a device that provides instant, on-scene ballistics analysis.

“Governor Evers has been a consistent partner in building a safer Milwaukee, and I appreciate this latest investment,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “With technology and expenditures for officers, Milwaukee will improve our crime reduction efforts. This additional support fits well into our comprehensive public safety work.”

In October 2021, Gov. Evers announced a $45 million investment in ensuring safer communities through violence prevention and support for crime victims. This investment included $25 million for violence prevention efforts, including more than $8 million for the city of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) to respond to the pandemic-related uptick in violence and trauma with projects that take a public health approach to violence prevention, and $20 million to support victim services in the state of Wisconsin.

Building on these efforts, in March of this year, Gov. Evers announced a more than $50 million investmentin community safety. This investment included nearly $19 million for local and tribal law enforcement agencies, $3 million of which was allocated for MPD, as well as funding to help alleviate the pandemic-related backlog of criminal cases through additional public defender and assistant district attorney support. Of this more than $50 million investment, about $20 million was provided to Milwaukee County and the city of Milwaukee for criminal justice system initiatives and community safety projects, with more than $14 million for Milwaukee County to dramatically reduce the backlog of criminal cases that are able to be heard by supporting staffing for the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, the State Public Defender, the Milwaukee Clerk of Courts, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. Additional Milwaukee-specific investments in this package included preventing reckless driving through environmental design and upgrades to local roads, expanding pretrial GPS supervision staffing to ensure 24/7/365 monitoring, formalizing Milwaukee County’s Mental Health Treatment Court, and providing employment and vocational preparedness programs at the Milwaukee County House of Correction, among other initiatives.

These allocations are funded through the state’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.