Mayor Lee and Supervisor Cohen Unveil Public Safety Initiative to Address Violence in Southeast Sector
Plan to Interrupt, Predict and Organize to Increase Public Safety
Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee joined Supervisor Malia Cohen, Police Chief Greg Suhr, the City Administrator’s Office, community and religious leaders and service providers to announce a public safety initiative to address a recent increase in homicides in the City’s Southeast neighborhoods. The initiative, Interrupt, Predict and Organize (IPO), includes short, mid and long term strategies to reduce violence.
“We need to immediately interrupt the violence in order to keep our youth and our communities safe, and so that we can continue to work on longer term solutions to end violence in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lee.
“Building strong, safe neighborhoods and creating opportunities for our City’s residents are among my highest priorities, and we must take action in the short term while building partnerships for the long term to see results and keep San Francisco one of the safest cities in the nation.”
Several meetings with law enforcement, community-based agencies, youth serving organizations and clergy have been conducted over the past several weeks to develop an initiative with broad community support and partnership. Law enforcement and the City Administrator’s Office will help implement the IPO strategy engaging City agencies, social service providers, and the community to organize for longer term results.
“The recent violence that has happened in our Southeastern neighborhoods, particularly in Visitacion Valley is unacceptable,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “The public safety issues in these communities are not exclusive to Visitacion Valley or even District 10, rather they are citywide challenges that need a citywide approach and solution. I am committed to working with the Mayor, the Police Chief and all of our community partners to develop new strategies that build on past successes and recognize that the nature of violence in our neighborhoods is changing.”
In the first six months of 2012, there were 38 homicides compared to 28 during the same period in 2011. The IPO strategy was developed in response to the Mayor’s directive to law enforcement agencies to reassess standard practices to address the recent rise in violent crime.
“Using proven strategies and best technology, such as our Crime Data Warehouse that stores web-based real-time information, we can rapidly deploy resources to areas where crimes are most likely to occur,” said SFPD Chief Greg Suhr. “These tools and techniques will help us interrupt the violence in our neighborhoods to the fullest extent possible as quickly as possible. Sooner cannot come soon enough for all parties concerned.”
“San Francisco’s Adult Probation Department is working collaboratively with our criminal justice and public health partners to create short and long term effective interventions to provide offenders with meaningful opportunities to change their lives,” said Wendy Still, Chief Adult Probation Officer. “We are working with public safety and community based organizations to create a continuum of employment, education, and housing and mental health services that will enable individuals to break free from violence and long term criminal behavior, disrupting the intergenerational cycle of crime.”
The new IPO plan will:
Interrupt gun violence immediately with targeted interventions, such as employing an improved San Francisco Police Department Zone Strategy, expanding Gang Enforcement Interventions and Fugitive Recovery, enhancing Violence Response Teams and offering better Gun Buy Back programs.
The SFPD will attempt to predict where crime is most likely to occur in hopes of preventing criminal activity using technology and intelligence before it can happen. The Department’s new web-based Crime Data Warehouse will be used to contribute to this “Predictive Policing” strategy by mapping current crime in real time. In the very near future, the Department will map crime, include historical crime data, and use predictive policing software to predict where crimes are most likely to occur. Los Angeles and Santa Cruz have implemented such software and have seen a double-digit drop in crime as a result.
The crucial third component, organizing, will be undertaken by a broad spectrum of community based agencies, churches, social service providers and youth serving organizations coordinated by the City Administrator’s Office, focusing on increasing employment opportunities throughout the year as an interruption or alternative for youth and community; focused intervention on at-risk youth; offering direct one-on-one services to identified youth in specific neighborhoods in response to violence; involving clergy and community leaders; expanding apprenticeship programs; and increasing case management slots in high-risk neighborhoods.
“Our communities need a comprehensive and sustained community revitalization plan,” said Eric McDonnell, Executive Vice President of United Way of the Bay Area. “I am honored to partner with Mayor Lee and community partners across sectors, including residents, to help develop and implement a plan.”
“After several dialogues with the Mayor, this initiative is an important first step in working with San Francisco’s faith-based communities and involving them in the City’s solution to violence,” said Reverend Dr. Joseph Bryant, Jr, Pastor of Calvary Hill Community Church. “I am excited to stand with the Mayor and be part of the leadership focused on public safety not just in my neighborhood but for the entire City of San Francisco.”