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Newly-created group aims to curb neighborhood violence

The Green Bay community experienced a spike in violence during the pandemic, and a newly-created group aims to address the issue before people turn to violent crime.
Posted at 4:59 AM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 05:59:02-05

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The Office of Violence Prevention is living up to its name and taking new steps to address crime before it happens.

City leaders came together at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Green Bay to announce their next steps Wednesday.

The group was created last year to address violent crime across the community, and it's funded by a $1-million grant.

City leaders like the mayor and police chief say they'd like to address all violent crime before it happens, but they particularly mentioned they'd like to get in front of gun violence,including the recent spike in Hyundai and Kia thefts that seem to involve a lot of Green Bay's youth.

During the next few months, the office will begin hiring what they're calling "violence interrupters" to help connect with people before they turn to violence.

The office's new director says he's excited to curb violence in his community and wants to remind people that reducing crime takes everyone involved and not just his office or the police department.

"I came from Green Bay West High School, and I worked over there, and I've been in the community for five years now primarily doing this type of work at West High School and knowing this opportunity came up, now it gives me a broader scope to be able to provide those prevention and intervention services for the entire city of Green Bay. So, I'm excited to do that, and I know for a fact I won't be doing it alone, but I'm excited to be the guy that's directing that," said Office of Violence Prevention Director Jerry Overstreet.

City leaders say they noticed a spike in certain violent crime during the pandemic, and they're already crediting the new office for helping reduce that number.

They say when the Office of Violence Prevention is fully staffed and immersed in the community, they hope the group can make an even bigger impact.