(The Center Square) — The latest piece of Wisconsin’s coronavirus stimulus is not going well with the Republican candidates currently vying for governor.
Governor Tony Evers announced $50 million in funding for public safety on Tuesday, which includes “grants to support local and tribal public safety agencies, to strengthen crime prevention strategies and to help reduce backlog of criminal cases related to the pandemic in Wisconsin”.
The governor said $19 million of that will go to police departments across the state.
“Whether it’s training, recruiting bonuses, community policing needs, or technology, these funds will help our local and tribal law enforcement agencies meet the specific public safety needs of their community,” said Evers said in a statement.
But the governor’s newfound support for law enforcement and public safety is meeting a chorus of skepticism from Republicans running to replace him.
“Tony Evers played politics when crime and violence raged in our cities. The governor decided to wait until March of an election year to tackle violent crime — after completely ignoring the problem,” former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch told The Center Square. “It’s too little, too late.”
Kleefisch has lambasted Evers on crime in the state since entering the gubernatorial race. She launched its campaign back in September with a video focusing on Evers’ slow response to the nights of violence in Kenosha in 2020.
The weak leadership of Tony Evers has been disastrous for our state,” she said in this video. “He couldn’t stand up to the left-wing mobs as Wisconsin towns burned.”
Kevin Nicholson, who is also running as a Republican, said Evers waited eight months until Election Day to show his support for state cops.
“Tony Evers undermined the foundations of law and order in Wisconsin at every turn. He attacked the reputation of the police, he encouraged the release of violent criminals, and he created a scenario where violence and Crime in our state has skyrocketed,” Nicholson told The Center Square. “His announcement today is an election year bandage.
The governor’s investment is considered a crime in Wisconsin, especially in Milwaukee. Milwaukee police say 2020 and 2021 were record years for homicides. Milwaukee also set a record for stolen cars last year, with more than 10,000 stolen cars. That’s more than Chicago saw in the same year.