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San Diego asks gangs to stop shooting each other for 6 months

Members of the 18th Street gang. (U.S. Department of Justice photo/Released)
March 04, 2021

San Diego city government and law enforcement leaders asked gangs for a six-month ceasefire Wednesday under a new program called “No Shots Fired” that aims to create a peace deal between the city’s gangs.   

In 2020, San Diego saw a 28 percent increase in gun violence and a 20 percent increase in reports of gunfire, the Times of San Diego reported. A large portion of the violence is attributed to gang members, who are also responsible for 20 percent of all murders over the last three years, according to city police.   

Mayor Gloria, Councilmembers Monica Montgomery Steppe and Sean Elo-Rivera, and Police Chief David Nislei said the increase in gun-related crime demanded action from the city.

“The recent increase of shootings in our city is cause for great concern, but it demands that we lean-in as a community rather than shy away,” Mayor Todd Gloria said, according to the Times. “The No Shots Fired program represents an important collaboration between the city, law enforcement and community that seeks to stop gun violence, promote peace and create safer neighborhoods for all of us.”

Over the proposed six-month period, organizations will provide outreach and resources to gang members, in addition to offering them an opportunity to get out of gang culture. The program could be extended after its completion.

The outreach will include:

  • Community walks
  • Street side memorial services
  • Faith sponsored “peace meals” and organized outreach
  • Cease fire agreements with gang leaders
  • Wrap-around services in person
  • Virtual meetings with gang members to discuss seasons of peace
  • Coordination with law enforcement

No Shots Fired is a joint effort between the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, the Community Assistance Support Team and law enforcement, as well as other city partners.

“This is an important day for investing in and prioritizing public safety for our communities of concern,” said Steppe, who is chair of the council’s Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods. “After years of disinvestment and the corresponding impacts of community violence, the No Shots Fired Program is a step in the right direction to provide a policy solution that quells violence, promotes economic justice, and improves community policing relationships.”

Through the program, community organizations will be encouraged to reach agreements with gangs on the cease fire in areas most impacted by violent crime, like Southeastern San Diego.

“Every person in every neighborhood has a right to feel safe,” Elo- Rivera said. “Violence, such as that which our community is currently experiencing, disrupts that right, is tragic and traumatic for all those who are involved, and a symptom of pain.”

“The No Shots Fired program represents a holistic and proven method to increase safety in the short-term and heal our communities over the long- term,” he continued.