Sacramento City Council overwhelmingly approves new gun violence reduction strategy at Tuesday night’s Council meeting

Agreement with ‘Advance Peace’ organization put on fast-track following weekend shootings, in hopes of addressing community safety.

A program called Advance Peace, which works to interrupt gun violence in urban neighborhoods by targeting those most likely to be shot or commit shootings, was approved by Sacramento City Council at its Aug. 29 meeting.

Advance Peace targets hard-to-reach young men at the center of violence and invites them to participate in opportunities to change the directions of their lives. See video about the program below.

“There are about 50 young men committing the majority of shootings in Sacramento,” said Khaalid Muttaqi, director of the City’s gang prevention and intervention task force.

The program has had success in Richmond, California. Richmond experienced a 50 percent reduction in firearm assaults and 54 percent reduction in related homicides over a five-year period after the program launch.

At the City’s Gang Prevention Summit, the CEO and Founder DeVone Boggan spoke to over 250 service providers and received strong support to bring the program to Sacramento. The Mayor’s Gang Prevention and Intervention Task Force vetted and endorsed the program in February hoping to demonstrate similar results in Sacramento.

“Through the Gang Prevention and Intervention Task Force we have been discussing this program for six months.  The need is there, the program has shown results and our community can’t wait.  The time is now for action to address gun violence,” said Vice Mayor Rick Jennings who also chairs the task force.

Tomorrow, the City Council will decide whether it can be put in place in Sacramento without delay. The Council was originally going to discuss the item on Sept. 19, but moved the item to tomorrow night’s agenda.

“I don’t think we should wait another moment before doing everything we can to stop gun violence” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Each participant is provided an opportunity to earn up to $1,000 per month for 9-months of the 18-month fellowship. The participants can earn the resource as a result of intensive engagement and accomplishment of personal goals. The funds used for the stipends are provided through private foundation dollars. Goals may include addressing drug or alcohol abuse, getting a high school diploma or improving parenting skills.

With the approval, the City is commiting $1.5 million over three years. The money is being matched by private foundations that support Advance Peace’s effort to replicated the program in other cities. According to Muttaqi, the estimated government cost of every homicide is more than $1 million, which includes the cost of investigation, prosecution and years of incarceration.

The Sacramento Police Department supports measures that address gun violence.

As in Richmond, the program is expected to result in:

  • Reduced firearm assaults
  • Reduced firearm-related homicides
  • Reduced government costs associated with gun violence
  • A safer community for all Sacramento residents
  • If approved at the Aug. 29 council meeting, it will be another important tool in the City’s cache of gang prevention strategies and community programs to assist youth.

Advance Peace is one tool in the City’s cache of gang prevention strategies and community programs to assist youth.