RACINE, Wis. — Racine County and city leaders announced a new collaboration involving the community to try and reduce violence.
The effort called Violent Crime Reduction Initiative includes the Law Enforcement Violent Crime Task Force, community programming, and community engagement.
Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave and Mayor Cory Mason joined the police, the sheriff's office, and a group called Voices of Black Mothers United to say they are working together to address the increasing violence.
Voices of Black Mothers United is made up of moms who lost their children to gun violence.
Tanya Wooden lost her son 5 years ago.
"I am here today because I know if we don't take responsibility, others will continue to decide what we need and what we will or will not get. I'm here today because I know that change we desire has to include us," Wooden said.
The Racine County Sheriff's Office will dedicate personnel to working with Racine Police, focusing on violent crime while using data to try and get ahead of it.
Racine Police Assistant Chief Alex Ramirez said they're seeing a drastic jump in calls related to guns.
Ramirez said the city has had six homicides so far in 2022, which is double what they had this time last year.
District Attorney Patricia Hanson said she is committed to improving transparency and connecting with families of homicide victims sooner.
Community programming will focus on areas of need and opportunity following feedback from a survey.
There was skepticism among the audience about how this will work, what will change, and the potential ramifications.
"To those who have felt like they've been turned away in the past. Please come back and help us and those of you that have ideas, please come to the table. We're not here saying we have all the answers, but we are here to say we're united," Delagrave said.