SF Mayor announces grant for gun violence prevention programme

San Francisco, June 14 (IANS) San Francisco Mayor London Breed and the city’s police chief William Scott announced a grant of $6 million towards a gun violence prevention programme.

The money will continue funding the San Francisco Violence Reduction Initiative (VRI), which initially was awarded a $1.5 million grant in 2020 when it was created, reports Xinhua news agency.

“This grant allows us to continue supporting residents most at risk of committing violent offenses by meeting them where they are to prevent crime from happening in the first place. I want to thank our partners at the state and San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) for their continued efforts to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement while keeping the residents of San Francisco safe,” said Breed.

VRI is a collaborative project developed by SFPD.

The goals of the VRI are: to reduce shootings and homicides, to break the cycle of recidivism, and to build trust between law enforcement and communities impacted by violence.

VRI identifies individuals who are at the greatest risk of either engaging in gun violence or falling victim to gun violence.

SFPD and community partners reach out directly to these individuals about their risk and potential consequences of being involved in violence, the community’s desire for a different future for them, and to connect them immediately to special help and support resources, according to the announcement.

Under the VRI, all shootings and homicides in San Francisco are reviewed internally on a weekly basis with the purpose of preventing future and retaliatory shootings and victimization.

VRI has successfully engaged with over 100 individuals who have been involved or impacted by non-fatal shootings and homicides.

“The goal of this programme is to address violent crime and to reach those who are at the greatest risk of being impacted by gun violence, while reducing the need for police response,” said Scott.

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