San Bernardino’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIP), has received a $3.8 million grant from the California State and Community Corrections Board. The City says the funding will help support and expand their anti-gang violence program for an additional three years.
The three-year-old program is a partnership between the City, the police department, Loma Linda University Medical Center, and community organizations such as H.O.P.E Culture, Young Visionaries Youth Leadership, and the Urban Peace Institute. The City modeled the program after other community violence intervention programs, which prevent gang gun violence and de-escalate tensions through personal interactions with hard core gang members and at-risk youth in ways that law enforcement cannot.
“The Violence Intervention and Prevention Program is not a replacement for law enforcement. It is an added element,” said VIP Program Director David Miranda. “Respected members of the neighborhoods are addressing community safety. Addressing violent crime. Addressing recidivism by different means than the police. ”
San Bernardino says it will use the new funding to add one additional community partner and several healthcare partners.
San Bernardino crime statistics indicate the program is working. While violent crime in San Bernardino, like many other cities, has risen in recent years, year-to-date gang related homicides has remained flat and gang related shootings are down dramatically, dropping from 151 to 129 to 86 in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
“In addition to stepped up police enforcement, we believe the VIP program has contributed to San Bernardino’s decline in gang shootings,” added Miranda. “Our interventions have helped calm tensions and prevented retaliations.”