Attorney General Bonta applauds Stockton’s violence prevention program
California Attorney General Bonta called Stockton a “role model” for the rest of the state during a panel discussion Thursday with city officials and people on the violence prevention program.
âI see this program appreciates, accomplished something very special. I know it’s going on and not easy to replicate, “Bonta said.” But we talked a little bit about the special sauce, the very powerful program, the very powerful experiences. “
Stockton officials including Mayor Kevin Lincoln, City Manager Harry Black, Police Chief Eric Jones and Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) Director Daniel Muhammed discussed the efforts of the Operation Peacekeepers and Operation Ceasefire programs to prevent violence in Stockton.
The programs involve community leaders, law enforcement and individuals who work together on gang and gun violence in the city and have been in place for about three and a half years.
âAt every step of the way, the individual, the person is the center of attention, they are front and center and they never lose sight of it. And it’s intangible, it’s priceless, “Lincoln said.” Because you feel valued every step of the way,â¦. And that’s what’s important because it’s about changing lives and changing generations to come.
Over the past two weeks, Stockton has seen an increase in homicides, with the most recent being on June 20 in BellaVista Rooftop Bar in downtown Stockton.
Jones said the program will continue to have a positive impact on violence in Stockton.
âWhat our gun violence response efforts aim to do is specifically reduce group and gun-related homicides. We saw an increase for us just last week, which concerns us, “Jones said.” And that’s why we have to be so flexible and make sure that our strategies, adapting to current trends, and so on. immediately to reduce retaliation, so we worked really hard.
“And we will continue to work very hard to work with the Bureau of Violence Prevention, with the police department, to resolve recent cases, but also to prevent retaliation or reduce other violence throughout the city.”
Sufficient, successful and perfectly perfect – that is how Koron Richardson, 30, a resident of Stockton and a member of the OVP, described the program in which he has been involved for almost a year.
“They really get involved with us, they really care about us, they really care about what we’ve been through, they really help us with what we’ve been through, they help us understand our trauma,” he said. -he declares.
Richardson said the program had an impact on his life by keeping him out of trouble after being in jail for about five years, including two years on parole; he is currently on probation with one year remaining.
âHonestly, it got me out of trouble. Because the time I spend here could have been time I could have spent on the streets, âsaid Richardson.
Stockton is now at the forefront and is a role model for other towns in the state to seek ways to prevent violence.
âIt has to start at the top, the leadership of the organization not only has to invest in it financially, but it has to be addressedâ¦ emotionally, and have the passion for it as well,â said Black. âSo you can share the model on paper, but being able to execute and operationalize that model will depend on the people. And community leadership is absolutely essential, if you want to be able to replicate the level of success. that Stockton was able to reach.
The program offers a 14 week course titled âHealthy, Rich and Wiseâ.
âBecause of this plan it helped me figure out how to start a business so I took that and ran with that and started a real business while working another nine to five job. “said Richardson. .
Richardson started his own business, selling Aurora beads and necklaces through his instagram page, kemetik_krystalz, something he was able to do because of the program and what he learned.
Violence in towns like Stockton is not always linked to “gangs” as some might think. With COVID-19, the impact on people’s mental health has been accompanied by an increase in violence in places where it was generally not as common before. The pandemic has also had an impact on why the violence occurs and to whom.
âWhen COVID happened last year, we all saw different trends that happened. What we saw here in Stockton was not the increase in gang or group violence. Sadly, we have seen these pressures from society only affect the average American and we have actually seen that 30% of our homicides have been family, family, and these are people who have no meaning. ‘significant criminal history,’ said Daniel Muhammed, director of the Bureau of Violence Prevention. âThey are middle class people. The suicide rate has increased, we have seen shootings in a passing community. And it is alarming that we have seen gang-motivated homicides decline. ”
Record-breaking journalist Angelaydet Rocha covers the latest news. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AngelaydetRocha. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.