MILWAUKEE — Gov. Tony Evers today announced an additional $20 million investment for public safety in Milwaukee County. The investment will provide a grant to Milwaukee County for the construction of the Center for Forensic Science and Protective Medicine, which will house the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. The Center is also being funded with $99.5 million in state funds that were approved by the State Building Commission in August for the new Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Milwaukee Crime Lab. Today’s announcement builds on the governor’s efforts to invest more than $100 million in violence prevention and community safety statewide.
“I’ve been proud to invest more than $100 million in crime prevention, violence interruption and public health interventions, community safety efforts, and ensuring local law enforcement have the resources to keep their communities safe,” said Gov. Evers. “Violence is never the answer and crime has no place in our communities. Period. That’s why I have continued to invest in communities all across Wisconsin, and this $20 million for Milwaukee County will bolster local and regional efforts to improve public safety through the latest advances in research and technology.”
“Thank you to Governor Evers’ Administration for making an important investment in the Forensic Science and Protective Medicine Center,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “Co-locating the Medical Examiner’s Office, the Office of Emergency Management, and the State Crime Lab will take emergency response coordination to a level never previously seen in Wisconsin. It will enhance public safety, save lives, and allow for more efficient and cost-effective responses to emergency situations.”
The future Center for Forensic Science and Protective Medicine, which will join the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center Campus in 2025, will enable the Medical College of Wisconsin to become a national leader in forensic science, creating a key center of educational excellence to benefit all of Southeast Wisconsin. The campus will also house a new state-of-the-art state crime lab, enhancing forensic services provided by DOJ.
“The Center will boost public safety resources, expand the pipeline of forensic science talent, reduce long-term costs with a shared-facility model, and address regional health equity—a win for Milwaukee and a win for Wisconsin,” said Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld.
Since October 2021, Gov. Evers has invested more than $100 million in violence prevention and community safety statewide, including:
—$45 million for violence prevention efforts and support for crime victims, including more than $8 million for the city of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) and $17 million for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Violence Prevention Project;
—$50 million for local and tribal law enforcement agencies, as well as to help alleviate the pandemic-related backlog of criminal cases through additional public defender and assistant district attorney support; $5.5 million for the State Public Defender Initiative to establish ‘roving teams’ that can provide assistance where it is needed most;
—$2.2 million to help the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) take immediate steps to address crime and violence;
—$1 million for summer youth programming and job training opportunities to ensure youth are meaningfully engaged, making connections with mentors, and positively contributing to their communities; and
—$800,000 for community safety initiatives in the city of Racine, focusing on a public health approach to violence prevention.
An online version of this release is available here.