Mayo Clinic Health System donated $75,000 to the Washburn Neighborhood Resource Officers on Tuesday morning.
Mayo has supported the Washburn Neighborhood Resource Officers since the program started in 2014. The program is about more than just patrolling the streets. It is about building relationships and making Washburn Neighborhood a better place to work and live.
"We had the officers, but we didn't have the resources," said Chief Ron Tischer with the La Crosse Police Department. "Mayo was one of the first big donors to hop on board and say, 'Yes. This is the program that we need in this Washburn Neighborhood.'"
Four years later, Mayo Clinic Health System continues to give financial support.
"We want people to move here," said Tim Johnson, Regional Vice President of Mayo Clinic Health System. "We want to have a good source of residence for employees. It's absolutely critical."
"Having that continued partnership I think says a lot about how effective the program has been and just how much this neighborhood is becoming the place," said Mayor Tim Kabat. "The demand and the people wanting to build housing, the investments that are being made, I just can't say enough good things about it."
The Washburn Neighborhood Resource Officers hope to provide more long-term solutions for neighborhood residents.
"People come to depend on you, and you end up helping not just that individual, but generally, you end up helping that whole family or a block that has a problem," said Officer Dan Ulrich, a Washburn Neighborhood Resource Officer.
Building strong neighborhoods is the foundation of a strong community, but it is a task that cannot be accomplished alone.
"If we want to live in a better place for everybody, then everyone's got to pitch in," Ulrich said.
Johnson said Mayo Clinic Health System budgets money every year for community involvement. The healthcare organization also donated land for the new Coulee Recovery Center that will also be located in the Washburn Neighborhood.
The $75,000 will allow the officers to stay in the neighborhood for years to come.
Washburn Neighborhood is one of three neighborhoods in La Crosse with the Neighborhood Resource Officer program. The other two are the Lower Northside Depot Neighborhood and the Downtown Neighborhood.