As of 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, a total of 11 homicides were recorded in Richmond in 2014—a record low since 1971.
Following a persistent trend, the number came down from 16 in 2013, 47 in 2009 and 62 in
“The reduction in the homicide rate reflects the great work of the community through initiatives like Project Ceasefire and other programs. I am also fortunate to have an outstanding team of officers and detectives who have focused on the right people to reduce gun violence,” said Chief Magnus, Richmond Police Department.
Collaborative efforts between community-based and faiths organizations have been instrumental in creating a strategy and culture within the community to drive down violent crime.
The Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization’s (CCISCO) “Lifelines to Healing” Cease-fire Initiative has worked with a cross section of the community, convening RPD, Faith Leaders, the District Attorney’s office, community agencies, thought leaders and community residents on the topic.
Cease-fire has gained increasing popularity within the Richmond and North Richmond communities for its weekly “Night Walks” or “Peace Walks,” which has built a strong community and faith presence.
The united front and the participation of the walkers are symbolic of the community-wide effort to promote peace within Richmond neighborhoods.
“Cease-fire has been around for three years. It has been a tough road for the initiative to develop a relationship between law enforcement and the community, but it has fostered a trusting relationship,” said Pastor Rev. Donnell Jones, community organizer and lead organizer for the Cease-fire Initiative.
“The Cease-fire initiative has a working group that meets weekly with the clergy community, the police department and district attorney to work on strategy to address gun violence and prevention. This effort has been instrumental in the decline in homicides in our community” he said.