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Report: Office of Justice Assistance could be run by DOJ

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state office that distributes law enforcement grants could soon be transferred from the governor’s administration to the attorney general’s office.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Governor Scott Walker is thinking about letting the Justice Department run the state Office of Justice Assistance.

The Republican Walker might include the change in his proposed state budget that he’ll give to lawmakers next month. None of the affected parties are commenting.

The office was created in 1987 under former Governor Tommy Thompson. It collects crime data, seeks federal funding, and distributes grants to various Wisconsin police agencies and social service programs.

Some of the better-known grants are aimed at fighting domestic violence against women, and boosting Homeland Security efforts.

The Journal Sentinel says governors have closely guarded those law enforcement funds – especially at times when they don’t agree with the elected attorney general. But Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said it makes more sense for law enforcement to be in charge of those dollars – especially at a time with federal police funds are drying up.

When Walker was the Milwaukee County executive, Clarke said he gave the sheriff more power to administer funding grants. 

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