OSHKOSH, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel continued his 72-county statewide tour to meet with local law enforcement and elected officials this week with a stop in Winnebago County on Tuesday, February 6.
“As we’ve seen from the success of the multi-jurisdictional Lake Winnebago Metropolitan Enforcement Group, data and resource sharing across law enforcement agencies is extremely beneficial to improving public safety,” said Attorney General Schimel. “DOJ is a proud partner of local law enforcement agencies and this roundtable meeting continued to advance our shared goals of keeping our communities safe and healthy.”
“I’d like to thank the attorney general for taking the time to meet with local law enforcement and community leaders in a collaborative effort to address quality of life concerns in the Fox Valley,” said Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz.
Attorney General Schimel and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership team is meeting with law enforcement and local officials in every county to discuss public safety concerns specific to each county. The challenges faced by law enforcement leaders and the criminal justice system differ from county to county, even in neighboring communities, making it critical for DOJ to be responsive to public safety needs at the local level. DOJ is local communities’ partner in safety, and these meetings aim to discover what resources and efforts DOJ can provide to make Wisconsin safer and stronger.
DOJ financially supports a number of programs to help public safety officials keep their communities safe.
This year, the Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office will receive more than $66,000 to enhance the county’s trial diversion and drug court program, which provides an alternative to incarceration for low risk offenders and those struggling with addiction, in order to reduce recidivism rates.
The county also received in 2018, $25,000 from DOJ and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a pilot site in the CDC’s Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Program. The program aims to provide participating agencies with resources and support so they can develop plans for prevention overdoses.
This year, the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, which includes Winnebago County law enforcement, will receive more than $133,000 to help investigate drug distribution crimes in the area. This drug task force has also received more than $255,000 since 2015 to fight heroin and methamphetamine. These funds will be available through 2018.
DOJ also financially supports Winnebago County’s crime victim services organizations, ensuring that crime victims are given guidance and counseling as they participate in the criminal justice system. Since 2015, DOJ has distributed more than $800,000, through U.S. DOJ Victims of Crime Act grants, to rape crisis centers, domestic abuse shelters, and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Fox Valley.
In 2017, DOJ announced that Reach Counseling Services in Winnebago County will receive $80,000, through June 2019, to support crisis intervention through advocacy, short-term counseling, and survivors affected by the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.