Gov. Evers spending $45 million on violence prevention

MADISON (WKBT) — Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday announced that the state will spend $45 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds on violence prevention efforts throughout the state.

The funds will bolster statewide research initiatives and fund victim support services as the demand for the services increase.

“We’re working to build the future we want for our kids and our state, and that means working to address the cycle of violence and crime to ensure safe schools, safe streets, and safe communities,” said Evers. “This is another public health crisis that needs our attention and action, and like any public health issue, it starts with prevention. Violence and its effects on kids, families, and communities are not inevitable. We have to focus on the root causes and invest in interventions and community-based solutions, and we have to make sure the trusted folks and organizations who are already doing this work are at the center of this process.”

Nearly $7 million of the funds are allocated to the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Violence Prevention Project, housed in its Comprehensive Injury Center. These funds will be used to support research, data collection, education, and community engagement efforts around violence prevention as a public health issue. MCW’s Violence Prevention Project will also receive $10.4 million of these funds to administer a competitive grant process to support violence project efforts statewide.

“The American Rescue Plan has provided an unprecedented opportunity for local and state leaders to invest in comprehensive approaches to violence prevention that are rooted in public health and smart on public safety,” said Reggie Moore, Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement for the Comprehensive Injury Center. “I am pleased to see state and city leaders prioritizing investment in addressing this very serious public health crisis.”

There will be $20 million to support victim services through a grant administered by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

“The investments that Governor Evers is announcing today will provide major support to efforts to stop crime before it happens and to ensure that services are available to crime victims despite the multimillion-dollar shortfall in federal funding under the Victims of Crime Act,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Thank you, Governor Evers, for this substantial investment in public safety.”

Recent News Headlines from News 8 Now  
La Crosse leaders raise awareness of suicide prevention and mental health resources 
Hunger Task Force of La Crosse adjusting food distribution process because of pandemic 
La Crosse police, county sheriff highlight challenges, opportunities during forum 
Super Street Tacos opens Wednesday in La Crosse