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City of Green Bay receives $1 million to create Office of Violence Prevention

Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-30 23:15:00-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The City of Green Bay announced in a Thursday press conference that it was awarded a $1 million dollar grant to create an Office of Violence Prevention.

City of Green Bay Deputy Development Director Cheryl Renier-Wigg said the program will focus on "firearm violence" by addressing crime through developing reduction strategies, tracking underlying causes and factors of violence and identifying and connecting with at-risk individuals and areas.

"It's a different way to look at trying to stop firearm violence," Renier-Wigg said. "It's really meeting people where they are in the community and building relationships with people to try and stop that at the very base level."

She said they'll be using a "grassroots" approach to reach neighborhoods across the Green Bay area.

Green Bay Police Department Chief Chris Davis said there's been an upward trend of gun violence seen in the city since the pandemic, and he's hoping the program will change this.

"This approach is intended to get out in front of those people who are in our community that we know are most at risk for being either a victim or a perpetrator of gun violence and try and get them off that path before something happens that we can't take back," Davis said.

Davis said with programs like the Office of Violence Prevention, outreach workers will get to know those who are most at risk and connect them with job training, mental health counseling or addiction support resources to get them out of the cycle of violence.

The grant comes from the Medical College of Wisconsin-Wisconsin Community Safety Fund and will fund the Office of Violence Prevention during its first three years.