Wausau Metro Strong (WMS) began as a grass roots group comprised of community leaders passionate about the mission to create a safe community for all. In the wake of the March 22, 2017 deadly shooting where four people were killed by one man, it left the area feeling vulnerable and unprepared for this type of attack. There was an overwhelming response to come together and do more.

With the support of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin as fiscal agent for the committee and an Executive Team committed to creating positive change around the mission, five pillars were established to help guide WMS’s strategy around community safety: Being Unified, Being Prepared, Being Supported, Being Informed, and Being Educated.

Since WMS was established the group has spearheaded change in legislation resulting in more protection for Guardian ad Litems, worked to update notification systems when there is a threat the community needs to be alerted to, met with leaders in the Hmong community to better understand cultural differences and eliminate racial bias and began establishing tool kits for local businesses around safety.