Milwaukee leaders make case for more state help for violence prevention

NOW: Milwaukee leaders make case for more state help for violence prevention

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – Milwaukee leaders believe the city has made positive strides in violence prevention, but that they need more state-level help in order to continue progress.

“We are so focused on solutions and making sure that the state can find a way to get resources to the local level not just in Milwaukee but all over our state,” said Rep. David Bowen (D – Milwaukee). “So that those local municipalities can put more skin in the game with the state and be partners and really get at the prevention end before these situations end up costing our bottom line and impacting so many lives.”

The event held at the State Capitol Tuesday was part of a series of programs put on by the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus for Black History Month.

Organizers shared information on current efforts in Milwaukee to prevent violence, including programs like 414Life, which takes a public health approach to things like gun violence.

As of Feb. 25, Milwaukee has had 20 homicides, seven more than the same time last year. Officials today believe efforts to bring that number down should be rooted in prevention.

“If we’re talking about juvenile justice or adult criminal justice reform, we have to talk about prevention,” Reggie Moore, the director of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention told CBS 58. “The policy and the resources have to meet where the community is saying where the need is and that’s what we want the state to step up and do and unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet in a way to support prevention.”

Leaders like Bowen and Moore hope their evidence-based case can help convince other lawmakers to move the effort forward. That, however, will require cooperation with Republicans who control the Legislature.

Bowen hopes to move his plan forward for more funds for violence prevention by next session, whether it’s through a bill or through the next budget process.

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