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RACINE — The city announced on Monday that John Tate II was appointed to the position of violence prevention manager and will spearhead the Office of Violence Prevention.

A panel of law enforcement, public health, and violence prevention experts selected him in a process that included a nationwide search that resulted in a large pool of candidates.

Tate said in a written statement, “I’m excited to join the City of Racine to lead its public health approach to community safety and violence prevention.”

He added, “Like many communities across the United States, Racine has faced significant increases in community violence, particularly among our young people. However, I know that by working together, we can develop and implement community-inspired solutions that will last.”

City leaders respond to Tate’s appointment

Mayor Cory Mason and city leadership expressed enthusiasm for the panel’s choice.

Mason said in a written statement the former Alderman was “the ideal candidate to champion the mission of making our city safer” due to his “outstanding background and exceptional achievements in public police and social services.”

City of Racine opinion John Tate II
Mayor Mason commended the panel on their choice for the position of violence prevention manager on July 31, 2023. Pictured here, John Tate II, then Alderman, speaks on the increased gun violence in the City of Racine on May 16, 2022. – Credit: Abby Lamoreaux

“Having demonstrated remarkable proficiency as a public servant, Tate boasts a wealth of experience in public policy implementation, criminal justice, and mental health care issues,” Mason said.

He added, “(Tate’s) expertise in crisis intervention and communication, complemented by his background in individual and family therapy, renders him an invaluable asset to the city’s efforts.”

Pastor Ernest Ni’A of Wayman A.M.E. Church called hiring Tate “an excellent move for the City of Racine.”

Ni’A  added, “Every interaction I’ve had with John has been positive. His work will benefit the city and the residents of our community.”

Nick Loumos, Group Violence Intervention Field Advisor for the National Network for Safe Communities said that they are “looking forward to working with Tate to implement our group violence intervention by working with community members, social services, and law enforcement.

Loumos continued, “Tate is a proven leader with deep ties to the Racine community. We are excited to support him, the City of Racine and their partners in their work to reduce community gun violence.”

Second offer

Tate was formerly the president of the Racine Common Council and chairman of the Wisconsin Parole Board. He resigned from the parole board in June 2022 at the request of Governor Tony Evers following political pressures in an election year.

This is the second time he was offered and accepted the position of violence prevention manager.

He was offered the position in Oct. 2022 with the understanding he was not seeking reelection to the Racine Common Council.

However, he was forced to withdraw his acceptance over allegations his appointment was a conflict of interest.

In April 2023, after his term on the council expired, Racine County DA Patricia Hanson charged Tate with a felony, claiming he violated the law when he negotiated his contract in Oct. 2022 – alleging he used his position on the council to benefit his own interests.

The defense was able to show while Tate voted to accept the ARPA funding that would eventually fund the position, he had nothing further to do with the creation of the position.

Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz tossed the case immediately.

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