On Thursday, June 2nd East Oakland pastors and leaders held an action at At Thy Word Ministries to advocate for the most effective and robust CeaseFire Call-In to stop the shootings and gun-related homicides in Oakland. CeaseFire is a national public health strategy proven to make communities safer. Its program elements focus on risky activities made by a small number of carefully selected members of the community with a high chance of either “being shot or being a shooter” in the immediate future.

Along with the outreach portion of CeaseFire, the “Call-In” is being implemented in Oakland, where the Community and law enforcement let the participants know two things:

  1. The Community will support them if they choose to change their lives and will help direct them towards available services in order to do so and
  2. The law will be enforced to its fullest extent if they choose not to make a change.

Four city and countywide departments have been working together for almost a year to pilot the Call-In strategy in West Oakland and will be carrying out another one in Oakland’s “deep” East. In order to learn about the process, OCO leaders conducted research meetings with all of the departments involved. They then developed specific mechanisms to make the Call-In better and asked for commitments from the officials that attended the June 2nd action.

The targeted officials, Assistant Chief Howard Jordan, Assistant District Attorney John Creighton and Department of Human Services Case Manager Emilio Mena committed to implementing OCO’s asks. They also pledged to meet with OCO leaders 2 weeks before the next Call-In to check-in on readiness and to meet with the community in 40 days to report back on the commitments.

Since then, action participants and leaders have been working in preparation for the next Call-In on June 30th. To find out more about the upcoming event or to get involved, please contact Kimblyn Bryant at kimblyn@oaklandcommunity.org or at the OCO Office at (510) 639-1444.