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Evers announces $50M in federal money aimed at public safety

WAOW Television

Governor Tony Evers announced a $50 million investment in the state’s criminal justice system Tuesday at a press conference at Wausau City Hall.

The federal funding will help local police, social workers and court systems statewide.

Evers says it’s an investment that’s long overdue.

“That whole system, whether it’s prosecutors, whether it’s the people that defend those folks, or mental health services, they all work together,” Evers says. “They’re all part of that system that should be bolstered in every way possible.” Wausau and Marathon County will see about $270,000 out of that pool.

Other smaller police departments in the Northwoods will see between $7,000 and $15,000.

Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg says the city’s share of the money will be used for training, recruitment, bonuses, community policing needs and technology.

She says, as a former county board supervisor, she's excited to see the District Attorney's office get the funding they need to help process cases.

“I know firsthand the kinds of hard decisions we had to make, even pre-pandemic, when it came to supporting our DA’s office especially,” she says.

The majority of the spending will go to Milwaukee, where officials are working on a backlog of cases, worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor has now invested more than $100 thousand in violence prevention since his term began.

Evers is seeking a second term this fall against Republicans who have criticized him on public safety.

He says this spending is essential to push back against violence that “is not a foregone conclusion.”

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