By Kathy Chouteau
The California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) program has awarded a $6 million grant to the City of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) to address public safety, with a special emphasis on gun violence prevention, per a media advisory shared via Mayor Tom Butt’s E-Forum. By providing funding to cities and community organizations, CalVIP aims to reduce violence in its grantees’ cities and nearby areas.
At $6 million, Richmond tied with San Francisco for the largest funding amount awarded among the program’s Bay Area Cohort 4 grantees. Other regional grantees for the time period from July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023 (encompassing fiscal years 21-22, 22-23, 23-24) include: The City of Oakland, $5,999,948; City of Antioch, $1,794,116; and the City of Vallejo, $1,541,292, according to program info on the state’s website.
Richmond’s ONS looks to build partnerships and strategies “that produce sustained reductions in firearm assaults and related retaliations and deaths in Richmond,” according to the mayor’s E-Forum. It added that ONS is tasked with administering gun violence prevention and intervention initiatives that improve community well-being and public safety.
“This program was the first of its kind and has become a model implemented nationwide,” per the E-Forum about ONS, noting that with the $6 million grant, it will “continue and expand these outreach initiatives in both the Black and Brown communities to ensure sustainable gun violence reduction in Richmond.”
The CalVIP Grant Program came about via the Budget Act of 2019 (Assembly Bill 74, Chapter 23, Statutes of 2019), according to the state website, and sets aside funding in the amount of $30,000,000 for competitive awards to cities and community organizations to support evidence-based violence reduction initiatives. California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) administers the program. Learn more here.
City and state leaders—including Mayor Tom Butt, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, Office of Neighborhood Safety reps and Richmond City council members—were set to announce the grant at a press conference this morning, but it was canceled due to a scheduling conflict.