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Government at Work: Keeping Young Men Alive & Free DeVone L. Boggan Neighborhood Safety Director Office of Neighborhood Safety (“ONS”) City of Richmond,

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Presentation on theme: "Government at Work: Keeping Young Men Alive & Free DeVone L. Boggan Neighborhood Safety Director Office of Neighborhood Safety (“ONS”) City of Richmond,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Government at Work: Keeping Young Men Alive & Free DeVone L. Boggan Neighborhood Safety Director Office of Neighborhood Safety (“ONS”) City of Richmond, California The Social Justice Tipping Point: Involving Youth in your Mission February 20, 2014

2 City of Richmond  Northern California/Bay Area  18mi. NE of SF/12mi. N of Oak  105,000 Population  Demographic:  31% White  36% Black  27% Hispanic/Latino

3 PRESENTING CHALLENGE  Firearm Assaults & Associated Deaths  Years: 1986-2005 an average of 35 firearm related homicides per year  2006 – 41 firearm related homicides  2006 – 186 firearm assaults  2007 – 47 firearm related homicides  2007 – 242 firearm assaults

4 City of Richmond: Office of Neighborhood Safety (“ONS”)  A non-law enforcement agency within the City Governmental Structure of the City of Richmond California – with a sole focus to assist in interrupting/reducing firearm assaults (November 2007).  2013-14 Allocation from City Gen. Fund: $1.5M  STAFF: 11 FTE, 12 PTE  Total Budget including grants: $3M per year

5 City of Richmond: Office of Neighborhood Safety (“ONS”)  ONS provides and coordinates targeted intervention services to and on behalf of those identified as active firearm offenders who have avoided sustained criminal consequences.  Primary Age Groups: 13 – 25 years (data driven)

6 Office of Neighborhood Safety (“ONS”)  ONS Secures Resources for Advocacy  ONS Secures Resources for Program Development and Implementation  ONS Secures Resources to Build Services Capacity within NGO’s/CBO’s/FBO’s  ONS Secures Resources to improve Services Coordination  ONS Secures Resources for Evaluation

7 “ONS” RESPONSIBILITY  Reduce Gun Violence (Shootings & Homicides)  Reduce gun related hospital/trauma center re- entry  Reduce retaliatory shootings between rival groups  Establish effective link to credible and responsive social services in an effort to improve the social and emotional health & wellness of those we engage.

8 ONS Primary Strategies STREET OUTREACH & SOCIAL SERVICE REFERRALS (April 2008) 7 Neighborhood Change Agents [NCA’s] 12 ONS Peacekeepers OPERATION PEACEMAKER FELLOWSHIP – Customized/Responsive Services & Opportunities

9 Street Outreach Intervention/Interruption Strategy Employs outreach workers to take programming to rival group members Build relationships with the “ONS Population” Make daily contact with the “ONS Population” Provides life coaching/counseling Promotes positive alternatives to violence Mediates conflicts and broker truces Serves as bridge between systems of care and “ONS Population”

10 Street Outreach: Role and Activities Role of Street Worker (Pro-social Adults): Reach out to those who create risk; Communicate effectively with those who create risk; Link to community services and institutions Play transformative role in the lives of those served; Intimate understanding of street culture; Are respected by those who create risk;

11 OPERATION PEACEMAKER FELLOWSHIP The Office of Neighborhood Safety Operation Peacemaker Fellowship is a Deliberate, Intentional and Focused outreach mechanism and services strategy directed at those thought to be the most lethal and at highest risk for perpetrating gun violence. Identified individuals are typically isolated, idle and depressed. [Most resistant to change, chronically unresponsive to traditional range of services offered and/or available]

12 OPERATION PEACEMAKER FELLOWSHIP GOAL GOAL: Life not death: Inspire a stronger hunger to live, and an excitement about one’s future opportunities. Establish new social networks: Provide young men of color healthy model(s) to perform to. Advocacy: Challenge the status quo pertaining to their worth/value, humanity and their redemption.

13 Operation Peacemaker Fellowship OPERATION PEACEMAKER FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES (LAUNCH - June 2010) 3 cohorts in last 44 months 18-month per cohort 68 (most lethal) agree to participate in Fellowship 65 Fellows remain alive (95%) 64 Fellows have suffered no injury related to gun violence (94%) 57 Fellows remain free from custody (84%) Contribution: 50% Reduction in firearm related homicides compared to 4 years before Fellowship was implemented.

14 OPERATION PEACEMAKER FELLOWSHIP - Elements  Belief/Partnership/Empowerment  Attention Intensive Mentoring/Relationship  LifeMAP – Life Planning  Navigation Support of Social Services  Exposures (State/National & International)  Achievement Incentives  Intergenerational Mentoring  Subsidized Internships

15 OPERATION PEACEMAKER FELLOWSHIP Th. Of When one truly desires to LIVE, better decisions are made, lives are changed, and conditions are created that help to transform a city!

16 RICHMOND TODAY  66% reduction in firearm associated homicides between 2007 and 2013  62% reduction in firearm assaults between 2007 and 2013  2013 recorded the lowest number of firearm related homicides in 3 decades (15)

17 “ONS” VALUE “In my opinion the impact of the ONS and the Fellowship cannot be overstated. Targeting individuals for services by category is not new…the Fellowship has taken this targeting strategy a step further and focused on the individuals who are the most likely to be catalysts or instigators of gun violence.

18 “ONS” VALUE In truth, the ONS is the only agency in this city that targets the “one percenters” for services. “One Percenters” are the individuals who create the risk for everyone else within the community. The benefits of the Fellowship can be felt everywhere, but nowhere is the impact more visible than in the overall reduction in violent crime in our city.” -Gang Commander, RPD

19 OPERATION PEACEMAKER FELLOWSHIP - VALUE “…ONS engages the most dangerous young men in our community and gives them an alternative to a violent lifestyle. For every killing they prevent, human capital is preserved, negative social costs are minimized, and millions of dollars are saved…were it not for their efforts more young men would have been shot and killed in our city.”-Richmond Gang Cop

20 KEY MESSAGES  ONS: Singular Focus Data Driven Agency – Non- Law enforcement Firearm Reduction  Accurate understanding of nature of gun violence - What’s driving the violence?  Identification of catalysts/instigators & ability to connect with – Who’s Driving it?  [Daily] Attention Intensive Responsive Engagement - with those identified as most lethal  ONS Staff continuity/stability

21 KEY MESSAGES  Victims and perpetrators of gun violence and their family members are people of value and worth;  The power of love and listening can turn lives around;  Trusting relationships can heal people;  Goodwill influences behavior;  The Relationship is the Intervention, and the intervention is the relationship.

22 KEY MESSAGES  Public System Acknowledges Shortcomings (We’ve failed [YOU] to produce [long-term] healthy fruit);  Acknowledge we need their help and ask for it (We’ve tried to do it without you and that’s been the problem – create “REAL” Partnership);  Ask what they need from us (listen & HEAR);  Give Credit to them for any successes (We acknowledge your contributions as necessary) ;


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