(STL.News) – United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded a two-year $317,422 grant to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office (MCDAO) and the City of Milwaukee through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). The grant is intended to reduce the level of firearm-related violence in Milwaukee through the creation of a Community Victim Witness Program. This new collaborative approach will provide services to victims of firearm–related violence who reside in, or are victimized in, one of six neighborhoods that report high incidence of homicides and non-fatal shootings.
The Community Victim Witness Program representatives will be embedded with the divisions of the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) that investigate non-fatal shootings and related offenses in order to support victims immediately after an event. The Community Victim Witness Program representatives will provide crisis-intervention services; make referrals to Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), social service agencies, and community-based organizations; and serve as a liaison between the victim and investigators as the investigation proceeds.
As envisioned by the grant, the Community Victim Witness Program has several aims. First, the program will help victims recover from violent crimes and assist investigations. Second, the program will identify situations at risk for retaliation and facilitate interventions that may prevent further violence. Finally, the program will promote greater community and criminal justice engagement, which should help reduce violence in Milwaukee.
“The Community Victim Witness Program has great potential to help reduce violent crime in Milwaukee,” said United States Attorney Krueger. “This program is focused on an especially vulnerable group of crime victims, those that suffered from a shooting. The program will help shooting victims recover from the incident and work constructively with the criminal justice system, breaking the cycle of violence.”
District Attorney John Chisholm said, “It is important to recognize the deep personal trauma felt by victims of violent crime. Untreated personal trauma contributes to instability in neighborhoods. This initiative will help us better connect violent crime victims to the supportive services they need and deserve in order to help restore health and safety in their lives.”
“The Milwaukee Police Department values its relationships with its law enforcement, criminal justice and community partners to further its mission to keep Milwaukee a safe place to live, work and raise a family.” C,hief of Police Alfonso Morales.