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Milwaukee Violence Response Public Health and Safety Team (VR-PHAST)

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $999,991)

Milwaukee County and City represent the most populated municipalities in Wisconsin with populations of 945,726 and 590,157 respectively(1) and have experienced an unprecedented increase in violence over the past 18 months. In 2020 Milwaukee yielded record levels of violence with 190 homicides (up 96% over 2019) and 764 nonfatal shootings (up 69% over 2019).(2) Current trends indicate that the city will exceed these numbers in 2021. The high level of violence is impacting individuals, families, and neighborhoods, as well as agencies across public health and public safety. The violence within Milwaukee occurs in concentrated geographic areas and neighborhoods and the focus of this initiative will be on a multi-sector collaborative approach to violence response.
    The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is working with partner agencies within Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Community Justice Council and a range of public health and public safety partners including the US Attorney’s Office through Project Safe Neighborhoods, to develop a collaborative and multi-sector response. To this end, MCW is seeking $1,000,000 in Category 1 funding to implement a Milwaukee Violence Response Public Health and Safety Team (VR-PHAST). The VR-PHAST project aims to:

Improve Communication and Information Sharing
Identify Resources and Unmet Needs
Coordinate and Enhance the Response to Violence

    For this initiative, initial geographic areas have been identified for further analysis during the planning period to identify micro areas of violence clusters. The Focus Area, bounded by Capitol Drive and Vine Street, between 50th Street and 10th Street (estimated population of 80,000 zip codes 53210, 53216, 53206) (3) has experienced a disproportionate level of violence. In addition, neighborhoods with historically high levels of violence that are currently the target areas for the 414Life Community Violence Interrupters, will also be analyzed. Data from multiple sectors including criminal justice, community and hospital-based violence response, and others will be analyzed as part of the planning effort to narrow to specific areas within these geographic boundaries to data-driven response strategies. VR-PHAST focuses on bringing key partners together for regular review of incidents, data, key metrics, and responses to identify data-driven strategies for addressing the changing dynamic of violence in the city and the county.
1 Population estimate as of July 2019, United States Census Bureau. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/milwaukeecountywisconsin
2 Milwaukee Police Department, Homicide and Non-Fatal Shooting Report, Office of Management, Analysis, and Planning,6/22/21
3 U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Retrieved from data.census.gov.

Date Created: December 13, 2021