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Racine to receive more than $600K for public safety initiatives, including surveillance cameras
The Journal Times - 6/20/2022
Jun. 20—RACINE — The City of Racine is to receive at least $675,000 in federal money to fund community safety initiatives, including putting surveillance cameras in high-crime areas.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced the funding Monday, which will focus on public health measures to increase public safety.
"Every Wisconsinite deserves safe neighborhoods to live, work, learn, and play in, and gun violence and crime has no place in our communities," Evers stated in a news release. "These investments ... 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."
According to the news release, the funding includes:
— More than $250,000 for surveillance cameras, license-plate readers and summer overtime costs for law enforcement officers.
— Additional measures are $225,000 for a program that involves youth, neighbors and community organizations working collaboratively with law enforcement.
— $150,000 for a violence interruption coordinator at the City of Racine Public Health Department who will work on "an overarching plan for tackling the factors that contribute to violence."
— $50,000 to help the city expand its credible messenger program, which connects credible messengers with at-risk or justice-involved youth.
"I take the safety of our residents incredibly seriously and know that we must do everything we can to address the gun violence that is spreading throughout the community," Racine Mayor Cory Mason stated in the news release. "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."
In a statement, state Sen. Bob Wirch, a Kenosha County Democrat whose district includes part of Racine, expressed support for the initiatives.
"I'm so thankful to Gov. Evers for both funding, and even more so for his attention to and concern for public safety issues in Racine and neighboring communities," Wirch stated. "It's clear that he recognizes the seriousness of the situation and is committed to helping local government address it."
This nearly $800,000 allocation comes as Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., sent a letter to the federal Department of Justice requesting immediate assistance on behalf of Racine and Milwaukee to respond to the recent increase in crime and gun violence.
"Existing grant programs at the Department of Justice ... are invaluable to helping communities address the complex factors that drive crime and recidivism," they wrote in part. "Communities like Racine and Milwaukee require immediate assistance beyond these grant mechanisms to respond to ongoing violence. We are asking that the Department of Justice directly communicate with local officials in Racine and Milwaukee to provide technical assistance and identify federal resources that could be immediately leveraged to address this urgent situation."
In a statement, Racine Mayor Cory Mason said, "I take the safety of our residents incredibly seriously and know that we must do everything we can to address the gun violence that is spreading throughout the community. 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. His support brings additional resources to support law enforcement but also build on community programs aimed to stem the violence and reduce the trauma felt throughout the community."
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