Promises made, promises kept

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I made a lot of promises on the campaign trail:  because I intended to keep them. After one year in office, I am proud to share with the community the many promises that we at the Department of Justice have kept.


When I spoke to so many Wisconsin residents during this busy year, I have often characterized this job as ‘drinking from a fire hose’ because of the huge body of work being done at DOJ. I learned how little the public knows about the Department of Justice and the ways in which we accomplish our important role in ensuring public safety. 


I promised that one of things I plan to accomplish during my tenure as Attorney General is to raise the Department of Justice's profile and educate the public about many of the important functions carried out by our 600-plus employees. I am proud of the role everyone at DOJ has played in keeping Wisconsinites safe and healthy, and in upholding the rule of law to ensure that we have a justice system that serves all citizens.


Together with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, we launched an innovative public awareness and prevention campaign, Dose of Reality, to end prescription painkiller abuse in Wisconsin. We took on the prescription opiate abuse epidemic head-on, with the campaign and by collecting and destroying more than 84,000 pounds of discarded prescription drugs during our two 2015 DOJ drug take back days. I was proud to host a multi-day Opiate Summit to educate all facets of government and the community on this issue and to explore together how we can effectively beat this epidemic. We forged important partnerships with the medical community and we will expand to partnerships with the business community in 2016.


We established the Office of Open Government to provide a resource on our public records and open meetings laws. In 2015, we hosted an Open Government Summit, webinars on open meetings and public records, and began the conversation about updating Wisconsin’s open meetings and public records laws to ensure we maintain maximum transparency while also giving reasonable guidance to state and local agencies.


I come to this role as a career prosecutor and I am gratified that we have been able to advocate for victims of crime by improving efficiencies in the criminal justice system and by taking steps to address difficult public safety challenges like human trafficking, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), sexual assault on college campuses, child abuse, domestic violence, and gun violence in Milwaukee.


Our legal team has been tireless in their defense of our state from federal government overreach, and we have strengthened that team by creating the Office of the Solicitor General.


As we begin our second year in office, we will build on the accomplishments of the first year and will continue to work with our strong partners in government, law enforcement and with you, the community.