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Green Bay receives funding to create office of violence prevention

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich speaks during a press conference announcing a $1 million grant from the Medical College of Wisconsin-Wisconsin Community Safety Fund. City of Green Bay photo

By Press Times staff

GREEN BAY – The City of Green Bay was recently awarded a $1 million grant from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) – Wisconsin Community Safety Fund (WCSF) in partnership with the state of Wisconsin.

The funds will be used for creating and sustaining an office of violence prevention (OVP).

“For too long, our communities have been asked to do more with less as public safety costs over the last decade have increased while state aid to local communities has been cut or held flat. Folks, that’s not safe or sustainable,” said Governor Tony Evers. “Our communities should be able to meet unique and basic needs alike, including investing in public safety.”

The OVP will be incorporated into the Department of Community & Economic Development.

“Under the leadership of a program director, the office will focus on neighborhoods to address disruption caused by crime through deterrence, tracking underlying contributing factors, researching incidents with high likelihood of retaliation, developing reduction strategies, identifying at-risk individuals, conducting street outreach, and increasing resiliency in residents,” a release from the Green Bay Police Department stated.

“We are grateful to Governor Evers for understanding the need for this kind of support in communities across the state of Wisconsin,” said Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. “With these resources we will be able to address the root causes of community violence, ease the burden borne by our police officers, and enhance the safety of all Green Bay’s neighborhoods.”

“In recent years, Green Bay and communities around the country have seen an uptick in anti-social behaviors and some violent crimes. In response, the City of Green Bay retained the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) to provide an analysis of violent crime in the community,” the police department release added.

The NICJR report recommended several strategies, including the need for greater investment in community-based services often provided by an OVP.

“We are committed to stopping gun violence in our community. The OVP approach is an emerging best practice for interrupting the cycle of violence and preventing the harm caused by violent crime. This grant is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Green Bay,” said Green Bay Police Chief Chris Davis.

The grant is expected to fund the OVP during its first three years.

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