Milwaukee violence prevention, Evers plans state funding

As Milwaukee shatters its homicide for a third year in a row, a candlelight vigil Thursday, Dec. 29 honored those killed.

Homicides spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic and have not come back down. In 2019, the city reported 97; so far this year, 214 people have been killed.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city needs millions of dollars more from the state to fight crime. The state government plays a role in fighting crime through creating laws and sending money back to municipalities.

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FOX6 News asked state leaders what they can do to help stop the violence.

"We have a plan that will guarantee some of that shared revenue will be used for public safety purposes, whether it is violence prevention, whether it is hiring more EMTs, police or firefighters," said Gov. Tony Evers. "I think there has to be a solution here. There has to be."

Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Sara Rodriguez joined faith leaders from across the Milwaukee community for an Inaugural Celebration Interfaith Service.

The state has important decisions ahead, sitting on a $6.6 billion budget surplus. What to do with taxpayers' dollars will be a big debate as the Wisconsin Legislature gavels in in just a few days.

"I would say number one, we need to make sure that we have enough prosecutors and enough people doing the job on the streets, to guarantee that we have people who committed a serious crime behind bars," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

Vos told FOX6 he is open to paying prosecutors more. Thursday, Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg resigned. He said his office and others in the state have no meaningful options for future staffing and the state is not paying enough to attract new prosecutors.