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RACINE — Local leaders will hold a public update of the Violent Crime Reduction Initiative here on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St.

The meeting is being co-hosted by Racine Mayor Cory Mason, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave and Racine Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Gallien.

Advance registration for the Violent Crime Reduction Initiative meeting is not required, but RSVPs are appreciated. Visit the event registration page here.

Violent Crime Reduction Initiative

The Violent Crime Reduction Initiative was launched on May 26 to address a spike in violent gun crime in the Racine area. At that time, the Racine Police Department (RPD) reported the city had already had six homicides, which was double from the same period a year ago.

The initiative was to include dedicated personnel from the RPD and the Racine County Sheriff’s Office as well as establish community programming and community engagement.

Federal, city reduction allocations

In June, the City of Racine was allocated nearly $800,000 in federal funding via the office of Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. Those funds were earmarked to create a new Violence Interruption Coordinator position within the Racine Public Health Department; establish a new “Safe and Sound” program to engage the community with law enforcement; expand a program for at-risk or justice-involved youth, and for the purchase of equipment (particularly license-plate readers and surveillance cameras in high-crime areas) and covering summer overtime costs for law enforcement officers.

The federal dollars came on top of $1.5 million in city spending that the Racine Common Council allocated toward violence prevention and reduction. That spending included summer school youth mental health services via the Racine Unified School District, the City of Racine Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services programming, and the Racine Neighborhood Watch programming; adding the capability for streetlights to include cameras and shots-fired indicators, and community-driven violence prevention/reduction programs.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...