Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention receives largest-ever funding
Violence jumped in Oakland following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic following years of easing. Violence this year is down slightly but is still above the half-dozen or more years before the pandemic.
Oakland city councilmembers allocated more than 19 million dollars to the Department of Violence Prevention to fund prevention and intervention services. Money in the form of grants will go to nonprofits and public agencies for implementation.
Community groups since the murder of George Floyd have insisted that Oakland officials address the root causes of violence such as a lack of jobs and housing. Those same groups have demanded that less money go toward policing.
City councilmembers met those demands initially by diverting money away from the Police Department but have since returned the funds. Others, like Mayor Libby Schaaf, have stood by the police, essentially arguing that law enforcement is part of the solution to violence.
Schaaf said in a statement that the Department of Violence Prevention's, "community-driven initiatives are a key element of Oakland's holistic approach to reducing crime and violence."
With this year’s allocation, DVP is doubling funding for community-based violence interrupters, enhancing life coaching for youth and adults and increasing by more than 50 percent the funding for responding to gender-based violence.