SF Bayview neighborhood receives $1M grant to reduce crime


Officials plan to step out of the box when it comes to using the money. San Francisco is one of 10 cities nationwide and the only one here in the Bay Area to receive a federal grant of $1 million over three years.

"What could they do with $1million out here really ain't enough," Bayview Hunters Point resident Cleavon Foster said.

According to the San Francisco Police Department and the FBI, violent crimes such as assault, robbery, rape and murder are nearly three times higher in the Bayview than the rates citywide.

Community leader Lottie Titus was close to 19-year-old Jaquan Rice who was recently shot to death at a Muni bus stop in the Bayview.

"It was just devastating and the community is still grieving because of his death," Titus said.

On Monday, she gathered with others as District Attorney George Gascon announced what he calls an out of the box approach to reduce violence.

And it's not crime fighting in the traditional sense. It will be a $1 million focus on the victims.

"We know that people that have been exposed to severe violence very early on, not only are they more likely to become victims themselves and get re-victimized, but they often go out and commit crimes themselves," Gascon said.

Gascon says research shows today's victim could become tomorrow's offender, so the grant will support research as well as counseling and intervention.

"Looking at the medical aspect of the impact of violence on the people and the brain," he said.

"So were' talking about going beyond adding more police to the problem. Going beyond incarcerating many of our young people and going to the root cause," San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen said.

"We are in dire need of this and have been for a very long time," Titus said.

The district attorney applied for this grant last year, but was turned down because the proposal doesn't fit the traditional violence reduction mode. This time around they were accepted and the Justice Department requires the first year of this three year process to be spent developing plans.

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