PREVENTION WORKS City of Milwaukee Health Department Office of violence prevention

The City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) is a division of the City of Milwaukee Health Department focusing on addressing violence as a public health issue.

Our mission is to prevent and reduce violence through partnerships that strengthen youth, families, and neighborhoods.

City of Milwaukee Health Department

Since 1867, the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has served the residents of the city of Milwaukee, seeking to improve and protect the health of all who live, work, and play within the city. The MHD is the largest local health department in the state of Wisconsin, serving nearly 600,000 citizens through direct services, evidence-based programs, partnerships, and policy development.

Violence is among the most significant health problems in the United States. Its impact is both immediate and lasting. Not only because of death and injury, but also because of the harm, fear, and trauma caused to families and communities. It leads to a broad range of mental and physical health problems that disproportionately impact children, youth, and communities of color. Violence is preventable and we are committed to doing everything possible to stop it.

Violence as a Health Issue

Milwaukee's Blueprint for Peace is making a difference. Launched in 2018, the Blueprint is Milwaukee's first and only comprehensive violence prevention plan. Developed with the community, for the community, it takes a public health approach to preventing and reducing violence. We thank everyone that continues to contribute their time, talent, and commitment to advance the six goals and 30 strategies that comprise the Blueprint for Peace.

414 LIFE Launch

On Thursday, April 4, 2019 the Office of Violence Prevention launched 414 LIFE, a program that uses a public health approach to interrupting the transmission of conflict and retaliatory violence. The program engages community members with the credibility, courage, and commitment to intervene in the lives of those that are at highest risk for shooting or being shot. 414 LIFE is a partnership between the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Uniting Garden Homes, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, Ascension Wisconsin, Children's Hospital's Project Ujima, and Cure Violence. This approach was called for by the community in Milwaukee's Blueprint for Peace.

414 LIFE Press Conference
414 LIFE Hospital Responder Training @ Froedtert Hospital

As of September 1, 2019, the team has completed over 60 successful high-risk mediations that could have resulted in gun violence. These have included two incidents among groups of teens at local high schools. Since May of 2019 over 80 patients from Froedtert hospital have been referred to 414 LIFE. The average cost for in-patient care of a single gun shot survivor is $100,000. Since its launch 414 LIFE has potentially saved the community over $3.5 million in health care costs in 6 months.

Hospitals Take a Stand for Prevention

Hospitals are critical partners in violence prevention, intervention, and recovery. Programs like Project Ujima at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin have been supporting youth survivors of violent injury in Milwaukee and their families for over a decade. Nationally, hospitals have increased their commitment to engaging in efforts to prevent and reduce intentional injury and homicide. 414 LIFE recognizes that there is a unique window of opportunity to make contact and effectively engage with victims of violent injury while they are recovering in the trauma center or hospital.

414 LIFE working with local hospital systems
Carjacking Prevention Campaign

Last summer Ignite Change facilitated a youth engagement class for UniteMKE during a summer youth development program designed to inspire, empower and equip youth to tell stories that promote health. Over 2 dozen teenagers who participated in the class were asked, “What issue in Milwaukee impacts you the most?” The teens were unanimous and clear in their answer. "Carjacking." Two months later Running Rebels teenagers from the “Be the Change” program funded by the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention, echoed the sentiment. Ignite Change donated over 200 hours of planning and production time to the youth-led “Jack a Car, Jack Up Your Life,” carjacking prevention campaign. The campaign is designed to be a wake-up call from the perspective of friends, families, and first responders impacted by carjacking, high-speed chases and reckless driving

Top: Youth discuss what people lose as a result of carjacking during memorial event Bottom left: MPD and MFD support re-enactment of car-crash for public awareness campaign. Bottom right: Father of teen injured from being a passenger in a stolen vehicle speaks out.
Top left: 414 LIFE team greets Health Commissioner, Jeanette Kowalik during memorial event. Top right: Teen organizer speaks during memorial event. Bottom MFD and MPD participate in crash scene re-enactment.
Advancing the Movement
Conflict De-Escalation briefing in Washington, DC hosted by BWFPC Inc. and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) The briefing focused on the importance of training and engaging residents in conflict-de-escalation and mediation. The briefing featured Washington, DC Police Chief Peter Newsham, Dr. Millicent Gorham, National Black Nurses Association; Seema Gajwani, Esq., Special Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, Reggie Moore, Director, City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention, Dr. Valda Crowder, MD, MBA, Capitol Health Partners and Member, Moms Demand Action; Commissioner Frank Malone, President & Founder, The 100 Fathers Inc.
Senator Cory Booker visits Milwaukee to discuss gun violence prevention
Awareness campaign launched by Gideon Verdin-Williams
City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention joins New York Mayors Office of Gun Violence Prevention and Chicago Live Free Campaign for presentation on the link between national gun violence prevention policy and community-based violence prevention efforts. Panel hosted by Joyce Foundation in Chicago, IL
Stop the Violence

National recording artist, philanthropist, and social innovator Nipsey Hussle was murdered days before a scheduled meeting with the LA Police Department to discuss gun violence prevention. He requested the meeting with LA Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff. His murder was another tragic reminder that gun violence impacts everyone regardless of fame, fortune, race, gender, religion, etc. It also sparked a national outcry to carry-on his example of transforming his neighborhood through community-owned businesses and social enterprise. As reported by NBC News, Hussle invested in Vector 90, a co-working space in South Central Los Angeles, where young people can take classes in science, technology and mathematics. He described the center as a "bridge between Silicon Valley and the inner city." At last year's Afrotech conference, Hussle said that he hoped to expand the program to other cities, such as Atlanta, Washington and Baltimore.

The Marathon continues.

Miela Fetaw and other community leaders hosted a vigil in Milwaukee to honor the life and Eritrean heritage of Nipsey Hussle and to raise awareness about gun violence prevention
State Representative Evan Goyke of Milwaukee hosts state briefing on criminal justice reform and violence prevention at the Wisconsin State Capitol
Style and Substance Mental Health Training

This spring we launched a program called Style and Substance focused on training barbers, stylists, and other personal care technicians in mental health and trauma prevention. This training is designed to provide stylists with the awareness to understand and respond appropriately to someone experiencing a mental health crisis. They are also trained to make proper referrals for mental health and other services including housing, food, and other basic needs that impact many in our community. We plan to expand this training to bartenders, taxi drivers, and other sectors of our community who regularly serve the public. This effort is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ReCast Initiative.

Style and Substance training at Gees Clippers, Milwaukee, WI
Denim Day Milwaukee 2019

This year, Mayor Tom Barrett and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) joined forces to raise awareness about the importance of sexual assault prevention in Milwaukee. They called on all Milwaukee residents to wear jeans on Wednesday, April 24, as a sign of support for local survivors of sexual assault. The effort was a part of the eighth annual Denim Day Milwaukee.

“Every person in our community has the power to end sexual violence,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. "Milwaukee remains dedicated in our efforts to continue the conversation, raise awareness of this issue, and involve all segments of our community in putting an end to sexual violence.”

Denim Day Milwaukee is part of an international awareness day that began after an Italian woman was raped by her driving instructor. The instructor was convicted, but the sentence was overturned after a court determined that because the victim wore tight jeans and may have helped remove them, the attack on her was consensual sex. The verdict motivated women in the Italian Parliament to wear jeans in solidarity with the victim. The movement has now spread into an international awareness day during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Denim Day Press Conference 2019
Although we still have work to do, we credit improved coordination and engagement across our entire community for the continued decline in homicides and non-fatal shootings. Lets keep pushing together.
Wear Orange Against Gun Violence June 6-8, 2019
Milwaukee Wear Orange Day Family Event: Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 12:00pm-3:00pm at Northside YMCA on 12th and North Ave. Free and Family Friendly!
COA Youth and Family Center Safe Summer Kick Off at Moody Park, Friday, June 7, 2019 from 4:00-7:00pm
We Got This 2019 Summer Season Kick Off: June 15, 2019 8:00am-12:00pm on 9th and Ring, Milwaukee, WI
Created By
Reggie M.