Instead of repeatedly throwing ideas against a wall to see if any stick Mayor Rahm Emanuel should follow the lead of the Office of Neighborhood Safety in Richmond, CA.,http://_wp_link_placeholhttp://www.nccdglobal.org/sites/default/files/publication_pdf/ons-process-evaluation.pdf der
where shootings have dropped precipitously. It has been reported countless times that Mr. Emanuel usually believes he is the smartest person in the room. When it comes to solving the violence issue he doesn’t get a C.
Understandably it is not the mayor’s job to make sure gun violence doesn’t get out of control; but it is his obligation as the city’s C.E.O. to make our streets as safe as possible. That is where he is failing miserably.
Let’s review Richmond, Ca.’s Office of Neighborhood Safety program and why it will work in Chicago. At the root of the program is the belief that incentives, rather than the promise of punishment can change behaviors.
According to neighborhoodscout.com, Richmond has one of the highest crime rates in the country, regardless of the city’s size. More than 95 per cent of California city’s have a lower crime rate than Richmond. That level of crime spurred the organizers of the Office of Neighborhood Safety.
The beauty of the program is it creates a public-private partnership. Where as the business community puts up the funding and city provides office space and a small amount of the funding.
Data mining revealed approximately 20 people were responsible for about 70 percent of the city’s shootings. Those individuals were invited to a meeting at a downtown high-rise office building (which provided a view few if any of them had ever experienced). Once inside the conference room they identified their engraved name plates (another new experience for them) and were told they’d been brought there to discuss ending the shootings. It was explained they could be paid to complete certain self-improvement tasks.
- Anyone without a high school diploma would have to get his GED
- Anyone who had any domestic violence charges would be required to attend anger management classes
- Other self-improvement lessons or classes are tailored according to individual needs
Much of the Neighborhood Safety program is patterned after the Cease Fire program that began here. To see those strategic initiatives in detail click here. Every minute the mayor and city council try to come up with their own solution is a minute closer to losing another young person in Chicago.