DeVone Boggan, the Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety director whose innovative methods to reducing gun violence are being debated for possible replication in other cities and counties nationally, is leaving his posts with Richmond in order to start a consulting firm.
Boggan’s consulting organization, called Advance Peace, will aim to help multiple U.S. jurisdictions implement strategies that he launched in Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) and its Operation Peacemaker Fellowship program.
Boggan’s programs — largely credited with reducing Richmond homicides from 47 in 2009 to 11 in 2014 — include sending former criminals into areas known for gang violence with the aim of preventing outbreaks, as well as paying some of a city’s most violent young people a monthly stipend to turn their lives around and providing them education and career opportunities.
A number of other U.S. jurisdictions are either considering or replicating the strategies, including Toledo and Washington D.C. And his work in Richmond has been covered multiple times by the national media.
In order to run his new consulting firm to assist other jurisdictions, Boggan will leave his current city posts as director of ONS and also as head of the Richmond Recreation Department. However, his consulting firm will continue to work with Richmond to assist in running ONS programs, City Manager Bill Lindsay said.
Also, starting in March, respected city employee Rochelle Monk will take over the city’s Recreation programs in addition to other city programs she runs. Her title will be Community Services Director.
Lindsay called Boggan a source of inspiration and positive change.
“It is not surprising that a variety of cities and counties from around the country are seeking to replicate the ONS and Fellowship models,” Lindsay said. “I will soon be proposing to the City Council a transition plan that will continue to allow Mr. Boggan to assist the City of Richmond in a part-time consulting capacity while we pursue the strategies that have been implemented by the Office of Neighborhood Safety.”
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