Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

Mayor Dumps Head of Violence Prevention Office

Arnitta Holliman removed from role she had held for a little more than a year.

By - Aug 3rd, 2022 02:22 pm
Arnitta Holliman speaks at Sherman Park press conference announcing credible messenger program. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Arnitta Holliman speaks at Sherman Park press conference announcing credible messenger program. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Just as a wave of federal funding is arriving, Mayor Cavalier Johnson terminated the director of the Office of Violence Prevention. Arnitta Holliman, who had led the office since May 2021, is out.

“I have notified Director Arnitta Holliman that her appointment as Office of Violence Prevention director has concluded,” said Johnson’s chief of staff Jim Bohl in a statement. “It is the administration’s intent to continue the work underway in the violence prevention office, while, at the same time, increasing the office’s responsiveness to changing demands and expectations in public safety.”

The office is involved in a number of violence prevention efforts, including partnering with the Medical College of Wisconsin on a neighborhood-level violence interruption program (414Life), providing grants to community organizations and convening groups to address community issues.

“Over the past year, additional millions of dollars have been directed to the Office of Violence Prevention through the State of Wisconsin, city resources, and philanthropic sources. Looking forward, we want those new resources effectively deployed to make Milwaukee safer,” said the chief of staff. In October, Governor Tony Evers announced an $8.4 million allocation to the office to expand its programming capabilities.

In a statement from the mayor’s office, Bohl said a replacement appointment would be made in the coming weeks.

Holliman, an appointee of former Mayor Tom Barrett, was promoted from within the department. She previously served as the program manager for the grant-funded Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) effort. She had worked for the city since 2019. The office was previously led by Reggie Moore, who resigned in May 2021 after five years on the job to take a statewide job with the Medical College.

The violence prevention office is located within the Milwaukee Health Department, which is led by Commissioner Kirsten Johnson (no relation to the mayor).

The announcement comes a little more than a month after the Common Council’s Public Safety & Health Committee held a lengthy public review about the efficacy of the office. That debate was triggered by an amendment to the city budget from fall 2021.

2 thoughts on “City Hall: Mayor Dumps Head of Violence Prevention Office”

  1. Ryan Cotic says:

    Unfortunately by all analytical measures this has been a total failure and a new leader must step up

  2. Brabplik says:

    Why the negative headline,”Dumps”? Very disrespectful and unnecessary to the whole process.

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