The Monroe County Safe Community Coalition partners with the community to reduce and prevent alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, enhance traffic safety, and promote healthy choices.
Historical Background of Monroe County Safe Community Coalition
The Monroe County Safe Community Coalition dates back to the mid-1980s, when a concerned group of agency representatives joined together to look at impacting the rise in teenage pregnancies in Monroe County and to initiate an effort to help decrease these numbers. For a several years, this group was known as the Monroe County Adolescent Task Force. As a result of this group working very collaboratively and providing a number of successful activities and events, it made sense to look toward the group serving the role of teen alcohol/drug prevention in the early 1990s. At this point, the local CESA organization was attempting to organize community coalitions to work on youth alcohol and drug abuse issues in each county. Rather than organize another community network, the Adolescent Task Force decided to blend this area along with teen pregnancy prevention.
The Task Force continued working on alcohol/drug issues throughout the 1990s. The Tobacco Control Board, through a grant coordinated through Monroe County Health Department, joined the Task Force’s efforts in late 1990s/early 2000 and blended the tobacco prevention initiative with the alcohol/drug prevention issues. Also in about 2000, the Task Force was approached about being the group that would also address injury prevention and traffic safety. With the membership of the Task Force already being fairly broad-based and spanning most to the represented agencies necessary for a Safe Community Coalition, it was determined that it would be in that the best interests of both groups to extend the focus to include the Safe Community Coalition. Thus, at this point, the Monroe County Traffic Safety Commission joined the Adolescent Task Force and the name was changed to the Monroe County Safe Community Coalition (MCSCC) and a new focus/mission was created. The Coalition continues with this collaborative approach of dealing with alcohol/drug/tobacco and traffic safety and injury prevention. This blend of focus areas has proven very beneficial in bringing together members from justice, law enforcement, emergency, health, human services, schools, citizens, tavern owners, domestic abuse, family resource center, HoChunk, and more.
Currently, we have a Drug Free Communities grant (partnering with Couleecap, Inc) that is a $125,000 annual grant that focuses on prevention of alcohol, tobacco and prescription drug abuse and misuse. We are working on prevention of alcohol, prescription drugs and tobacco. This is where a lot of our current focus lies. We re-write our grant annually and put together an "action plan" for what we want to do.
In addition in the last year, the coalition has worked on suicide prevention, bullying prevention and helping with a Strengthening Families program.