East Palo Alto community leaders and police met high-risk offenders on Tuesday, April 26 to conduct the second Operation Ceasefire “call-in.”
The group met with four individuals identified as “high risk” to communicate: 1) a credible, moral message against violence; 2) a credible law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence; and 3) a genuine offer of help for those who want it. The message was supported by a partnership of law enforcement, social service providers, and community leaders in attendance.
This meeting is a critical part of Operation Ceasefire: a national anti-violence program embraced and supported by the United States Department of Justice. The City of East Palo Alto is one of nine cities in California who received a grant from the Governor to implement this strategy.
A total of 8 individuals were invited to the call-in meeting today. Only one of the invitees was mandated to attend the meeting because of their probation and/or parole status. Of the 8 invitees, a total of four (4) individuals attended the meeting. Three (3) of the 4 attended voluntarily. In fact, one of the voluntary attendees was not actually invited to the meeting, but he heard about the
program and wanted to participate. Three of the 4 attendees registered to receive services.
The first “call-in” was conducted on March 1, 2011. Unlike the second meeting, this “call-in” was mandatory for all of the participants because of their probation and/or parole status.
However, nine of the 11 participants agreed to receive services. Of that 9:
_ 2 have received jobs
_ 5 have received needed medical/dental services
_ 5 are working with the San Mateo County Workforce Investment Board to receive employment training and job referral services
_ All 9 have received follow-up counseling and support services
To date, none of the 11 participants in the first call-in have been arrested.
This evidence-based strategy uses crime-intelligence to identify those involved in gangs, drugs and violence; partners law enforcement with the community to sit down with these individuals and offer them services that provide alternatives to their destructive behavior, and uses strategic enforcement programs (also known as “levers”) to hold accountable those who fail to take advantage of the services and continue to victimize the East Palo Alto community.