Operation Ceasefire is an evidence based approach to reduce violence. Evaluations have shown that when it is fully implemented, it works to reduce violence and recidivism across a range of cities of different sizes, demographics, levels of poverty, etc.
- The Ceasefire/Lifelines strategy is driven by a community-police partnership, including clergy, street outreach, service providers and other law enforcement agencies. This partnership uses data to understand who is at highest risk of shooting or being killed.
- This analysis usually reveals that most of those at highest risk are members of street groups and gangs, have extensive involvement in the justice system, and are less than 1% of a city’s population. That is, the violence is highly concentrated amongst a small number of people. The Ceasefire partnership engages with this population through direct communication (often in the form of “call in” meetings).
- In this communication, the community makes clear they care about these individuals, but need the violence to stop; law enforcement provide clear information on the special enforcement attention they will give to groups that persist with violence; and special help is offered for those who would like to change.
- The strategy is enhanced though tightly coordinated and disciplined community-level efforts using street outreach workers (Measure Y) and the faith community and community leaders (night walks). In particular, night walks involving clergy and community leaders play a meaningful role in reducing violence because they provide a message of hope that Ceasefire can stop the killings without sending more people to jail and build a culture of peace and healing in our community.
The Oakland Ceasefire effort is managed by three overlapping working groups: The Community Work Group* represents communities affected by violence and coordinates community support and outreach to those at highest risk of violence. The Enforcement Operations Group** focuses inter-agency enforcement on street groups that continue to shoot and kill in east Oakland and the Core Coordination Team coordinates Ceasefire activities across these two groups.
Measuring Success: The primary outcomes for Oakland Ceasefire are fatal and non-fatal shootings; and the strategy is focused for now on East Oakland (over 60% of shootings in Oakland occur east of High Street). The partners will also look to measure recidivism among participants and improvements in police-community relationships. The national experience indicates that the strategy often requires several rounds of direct communication, and follow-through from all partners (enforcement, social services and community partners) before cities see significant reductions in shootings. The city is prepared to report out to community stakeholders several times a year on the development and outcomes of the strategy.
*Oakland Ceasefire community partners include Oakland Congregations Organizing and numerous OCO-affiliated faith congregations, City of Oakland Measure Y (a partnership of street outreach and social service organizations), Pastors of Oakland, City Team and others.
**Oakland Ceasefire enforcement partners include OPD, the District Attorney, the United States Attorney’s Office, Alameda County Probation, California Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (Parole), the US Marshall’s Service, The Secret Service, the California High Patrol, the FBI, DEA and ATF and others.