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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers meets with Milwaukee city leaders amid surge of gun violence

TMJ4 asks Republican gubernatorial candidates for their Milwaukee crime safety plans
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
Posted at 7:06 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 08:55:20-04

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers got a first-hand account Wednesday on the surge of gun violence in Milwaukee from Mayor Cavalier Johnson and other city leaders.

Gov. Evers provided $8 million from federal pandemic relief money to Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention and another $2.2 million to the Milwaukee Police Department for crime fighting tools.

Gov. Evers is hoping bipartisan gun reform efforts out of Washington will help address violence in Milwaukee.

"From my vantage point, we've tried this several times with Republican legislature," said Gov. Evers. "This may be something different, especially if there's an incentive but really common sense. Gun safety issues such as red flag laws and universal background check."

We also asked all five Republican candidates running for governor about their specific crime prevention plans.

Rebecca Kleefisch's public safety plan includes surging State Patrol officers into high crime areas and funding 1,000 new officers across the state.

"Community oriented policing practices that we know actually statistically make a difference in crime reduction," said Kleefisch. "And making sure that we get school resource officers back into K-12, not only to protect our children from the evil of school shootings, but also so that we can actually build relationships."

Kevin Nicholson's plan includes bail reform, mandatory minimum sentences for violent criminals and a Law Enforcement Liaison within the Governor's Office.

"It's a big matrix of things you've got to get right," said Nicholson. "We've got to improve education, we've got to get more cops on the streets. We have to build relationships and we need leaders that are saying to police, 'Yeah we've got your back. We are going to hold you accountable to do your job right, but we've got your back if you do that.'"

Tim Michels' public safety suggest hiring 50% more police in high crime neighborhoods and add more criminal courts in Milwaukee County. He says it starts with law enforcement.

"I'm going to say, I want every one of you to do what you're trained to do and that's enforce the law," said Michels. "They are very frustrated right now because they arrest somebody on Tuesday and they are out the very next day on Wednesday. The catch and release. DA's that will stop as well."

Tim Ramthun says it's a two point approach: assess the needs for local law enforcement resources - he says more are needed - and teaching children the difference between right and wrong.

"As Governor I would meet with Mayor Johnson every week," said Ramthun. "We'll talk about the game plan for action I want to take and then I want measurable metrics every week until we chip away at this and we resolve it."

Adam Fischer is a former state police officer from Milwaukee. His plan focuses on enforcing current laws not creating new ones.

"We need to enforce laws," said Fischer. "We need to get back to neighborhoods, we need to get back to respect, and we need to help our fellow man."

Gun violence sure to be a topic in two debates next month on TMJ4. Shannon Sims, Charles Benson will be joined by NBC's Moderator of Meet the Press Chuck Todd and the U.S. Senate Democratic candidates who have qualified for the July 17 debate at Marquette University.

Then on July 24, it's the Republican candidates for governor who have qualified for the one hour debate.

To attend a debate, click here to sign up.

CORRECTION: TMJ4 News previously credited the quote "I'm going to say, I want every one of you to do what you're trained to do and that's enforce the law" to Nicholson. Tim Michels was actually the one who said that. That change has been corrected.

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