| Nothing Stops a Bullet as Fast as a Job
By Tom Ammiano, D9 Supervisor Oct 06, 2008
The Board of Supervisors reconvened after its recess this last Tuesday. Foremost amongst the tasks my office is faced with upon our return is that of combating the drastic surge in violent crime and homicides in the Mission. Between Aug. 22 and Sept. 4, 7 people were murdered and many of the murders appear to be gang-related, though few of the victims seem to have been affiliated with gangs in any way. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people whose lives have been tragically cut short. The roots of the problems which lead to violence in our community are many and complex, but our city is resource rich and one of the many steps which the city family must take to address the violence is to better coordinate our resources, particularly those of law enforcement and the community based organizations which do violence prevention outreach work. Such coordination must become institutionalized, and my office will be facilitating this process. We have already held a number of meetings with the community groups and the Police and Sheriff’s Department with the aim of opening lines of communication. It is now, more than ever, a matter of life and death for the left hand to know what the right hand is doing.
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It is also essential that The City’s workforce development apparatus become linked to the violence prevention programs working with youth. Currently, there is no formal linkage to speak of. It has been said many times that nothing stops a bullet as fast as a job, and I will be working hard to see that employment becomes a part of the continuum of support for at risk youth.
In response to the community’s immediate safety needs, I introduced narrowly focused legislation appropriating nearly $500,000 for the purpose of enhancing violence prevention efforts in the Mission. This would include increasing the number of case workers doing direct outreach to at-risk youth, keeping safe-havens open later at night, etc. A hearing will be held Oct. 6 to discuss the crisis of violence in the Mission and the above mentioned supplemental appropriation.
I need my constituents to let the Mayor’s office know that the Mission needs his support for the release of this money at this moment, and that additional police presence and expanded foot patrols need to be maintained for the foreseeable future.
STREETLIGHTS: A neighborhood wide evaluation of streetlights is currently underway. Please call us if you believe your block is not as brightly lit as it should be.
SHOTSPOTTER: Though originally not planned for the Mission, I was able to successfully gain a commitment from the Mayor’s Office for the installation of a Shotspotter system pinpoint the location of gunfire and dispatch police immediately. The equipment’s maintenance contract is being finalized, and the system should be deployed for use in the Mission within 2 weeks.
For those Mission residents interested in learning more about how they can get involved, or to find out what my office and the rest of the City is doing to address the crisis of violence in our community, call my office at 554-5144.
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