We are catalyzing an urban peace movement that engages multi-disciplinary, cross-sector practitioners, experts, public sector, and community stakeholders. Together, we elevate research-based practices and community-based knowledge, empowering communities to implement action and policy-oriented public health solutions to reduce violence. Through community transformation, we will ensure that every individual has the opportunity to succeed.
In collaboration with our local partners, we have been instrumental in disrupting the cycle of violence in the City of Los Angeles. The city’s 30-year “war on gangs” was failing to quell gangs and gang violence.
Our 2007 groundbreaking report – A Call to Action: A Case for a Comprehensive Solution to L.A.’s Gang Violence Epidemic – recommended a comprehensive set of innovative strategies to reverse course. Since then, our team has worked closely with city officials to put these recommendations into place.
By 2011 – five years later – the City of Los Angeles documented significant progress towards greater public safety and reduction in gang violence. Gang-related crime decreased by more than 15% and there were 35% fewer gang-related homicides in neighborhoods served by the Mayor’s Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD) Office and Summer Night Lights, a summer violence reduction strategy. In 2011, the homicide rate was at its lowest since the 1960’s.
We released A Call to Action: Los Angeles’ Quest to Achieve Community Safety to document how the L.A. Model had made such a profound impact in only five years. Read more about the L.A. Model, the full report or executive summary.
Success in significantly reducing violence can be attributed in part to the following:
Catalyst to City’s new approach to gang violence: Based on the 2007 report recommendations to create a central entity that manages gang violence prevention in areas where violence was concentrated, the City of L.A. created the GRYD Office to focus public resources where it is needed the most – on 12 gang violence hot zones identified in conjunction with community leaders.
Transformation of L.A. Police Department: The LAPD has transformed the way it deals with gangs, from an overbroad suppression strategy to relationship-based, problem-solving policing.
Training gang interventionists: The Urban Peace Academy was established to train gang interventionists, the only publicly funded training program in the nation for gang interventionists. The academy has trained more than 2,400 gang interventionists and law enforcement officers in cutting-edge techniques that reduce violence and keep peace in the hot zones. This has resulted in collaboration and shared accountability to achieve public safety.
The City of L.A. adopted new strategies that decreased gang violence by 15%.
The City of L.A. created an office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development focusing public resources on 12 gang violence hot zones identified in conjunction with community leaders.
The L.A. Police Department transformed the way it dealt with gangs- from a counter-productive, overbroad suppression approach to relationship-based, problem-solving policing.
Gang homicides dropped 57% in the parks and surrounding neighborhoods with the Summer Night Lights program.
Over 2,400 gang interventionists and law enforcement officers have been trained through the Urban Peace Academy - a rigorous training program that sets professional standards for this dangerous work, critical to keeping peace on the streets, along with training police officers to work with interventionists and implement effective community policing.
We have developed an extensive track record in Los Angeles, our pilot site for implementing and refining our comprehensive violence reduction strategy. We have been invited to share our model with cities across California and increasingly the nation, including Columbus, OH, Memphis, TN, and Seattle, WA.