The Stockton Police Department has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections. Stockton was one of only 10 law enforcement agencies state-wide to receive grants awarded for the purpose of strengthening law enforcement and community relations.
“We are very pleased to have been selected to receive this grant,” shared Chief Eric Jones. “It will assist us with specific aspects of the Marshall Plan on Crime and violence reduction through Ceasefire. We will continue our procedural justice, police legitimacy and implicit bias training and partner with local non-profits that are uniquely positioned and have proven success working with individuals who are at very highest risk of violence, as well as their families and the community most affected by their actions.”
Over $24 million in funding was requested by 24 agencies for this highly competitive grant. Each of the agencies selected received $600,000. The Stockton Police Department was selected based on the strength of its proposal, which includes a focused, three-pronged approach to addressing those who are at highest risk of committing gun violence in the community, young men who have previously engaged in violence.
Operation Ceasefire uses a data-driven approach to analyze incidents of local gun violence to determine who is at highest risk of violence. The Stockton Police Department and Office of Violence Prevention work together to develop work plans to address this risk. This grant is consistent with the scope of the national initiative and will help that work move forward, including customizing training to address local issues and concerns, and establishing a leadership council to facilitate listening and building trust through the direct and respectful communication that is at the core of the Ceasefire program.
In addition, the grant will help fund addressing the immediate risk of violence while establishing supportive, long-term relationships that help to interrupt violence and reduce conflict. This will be accomplished by working with two specific community partners: Friends Outside and Fathers and Families of San Joaquin. Both partners are well-established in the community and have unique and proven, effective relationships with high-risk individuals, their families, and the community most impacted by violence.
“The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) is looking forward to the expanded opportunity that this grant offers for the continued engagement of community partners in the planning and implementation of Ceasefire,” shared OVP Manager La Tosha Walden. “OVP, Stockton Police Department, and these partners have a shared interest in supporting individuals at highest risk of violence to make safer and healthier choices.”
By working closely with those incarcerated, Friends Outside has over 60 years of experience and understands those most likely to reoffend and the generational issues that exist within the family and community. Friends Outside will provide support and outreach to Ceasefire Call-ins, including assisting with preparation, attendance, client support and follow-up, and engaging family members in support of change.
Fathers and Families has also demonstrated the ability to positively interact with Ceasefire participants. Their very diverse staff focuses on cultural competency and working with at-risk community members. They understand the neighborhoods and the needs of the community and recently opened a Trauma Recovery Center in Stockton to support those impacted by violence in the community.
“Our collective goal is to build trust with the community and to interrupt and stop violence,” continued Chief Jones. “We are appreciative of this grant which will assist with our work in the community and building the coalition of community partners that is needed to make an impact. The Stockton Police Department has embraced procedural justice training, which led to inclusion in the National Initiative on Building Community Trust and Justice. As a department and a community, we are committed to a culture of collaboration and trust between law enforcement and the community, which is central to Stockton’s effort to address recurring, violent crime.”