OVP works continuously with our valued community partners to develop and implement strategies designed to reduce violence. The website has added a new page – OVP in the Community - to highlight these efforts in stories and photos.
Faith Leaders and Community Violence Intervention Summit
In December, the Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention joined Crossroads United Methodist Church, People’s Independent Church, and Californians for Safety and Justice in sponsoring a “Faith Leaders and Community Violence Intervention Summit.” OVP presenters included Aarti Harper, Trauma Prevention Initiative Co-Lead, who served on a panel that addressed the roles of systems, community-based organizations and faith leaders in building community safety and healing; and Charlotte Robinson-Perkins, Crisis Response Program Coordinator, who provided an overview of the County’s Crisis Response Program in South LA.
The Summit, held at Crossroads UMC in Compton, included discussions of a holistic approach to violence interruption for individuals, such as offering concrete and practical service support, intensive case management, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. The Summit also considered how to engage and support the extended family unit to heal intergenerational trauma, and ways to end cycles of violence and rebuild family bonds.
At the conclusion of the event, Lanaisha Edwards, OVP Community Violence Intervention Expert, received the 2023 “Good Trouble” award, honoring her “extraordinary commitment to strengthening everyone in [her] community.”
Summer Boxing Program Helps Youth Cope with Challenges
Thanks to mini-grant funding from the TPI Public Safety Roundtables in both Hawaiian Gardens and Norwalk, local youth will be able to participate in an innovative program that combines month-long boxing lessons with case management services. Roundtable members in both TPI communities voted to fund these projects to help address the urgent need for more positive activities for youth between the ages of 13-17.
Dogg Pound MMA is a local gym owned by long-time Norwalk resident Hector Ramirez and this marks the first time that it is connecting with community agencies and civic institutions in Norwalk. The gym is partnering with the Coalition of Engaged Education, a nonprofit organization that uses individualized mobile case management and group activities to empower system-impacted youth. The program is designed for young people who may face challenges and could benefit from additional support in making positive choices and building a safe and promising future. It is an exemplary use of mini-grant funding to strategically divert interpersonal violence, especially leading into summer.
Gun Safety Event
The Antelope Valley Regional Violence Prevention Coalition partnered in mid-March with the Palmdale Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on a gun safety event held for community members. One presenter from the Palmdale Station and another from C. Sparks Firearm Safety Training demonstrated a variety of techniques to prevent firearm accidents, including proper ammunition storage. At the end of the formal presentation, The Antelope Valley RVPC distributed firearm safety locks to all 66 attendees, some of whom took extra to share with a friend or loved one.
“We are proud to report that 100% of the attendees stated their intention to utilize safe storage practices after attending the symposium,” said Andy Estrada, Violence Prevention Project Coordinator, Antelope Valley Partners for Health.
In 2023, the Regional Violence Prevention Coalitions, which are funded by the Office of Violence Prevention, have made preventing gun violence their top priority.
Puente Valley Residents Share Safety Concerns
On March 8, the Office of Violence Prevention Trauma Prevention Initiative held its first public safety meeting for Puente Valley, which consists of 11 communities and cities, including Bassett, La Puente, North Whittier, Walnut, and West Covina. The virtual meeting attracted nearly 70 participants.
The event was led by three OVP staff members; Ivette Diaz-Quintero, Regional Coordinator, Trauma Prevention Initiative, Patty Hernandez, Community Engagement Coordinator, and Cristina Zuniga, Community Health Worker, First District. The larger group was asked to consider several questions, including community needs that would people feel safer, examples of existing community-driven public safety strategies, and violence prevention activities they would like tried on a wider scale, identifying trusted community organizations.
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Community Partners Provide Input on School Safety
For children and youth to learn and to thrive, it is critical that they are provided a safe and welcoming space to do so. Increased violence in the County, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in loss of social and school connectedness, for already struggling families and communities. This has created an added burden on schools across the County.
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Florence-Firestone Walk Through
Nellie Nunez, OVP Community Engagement Coordinator, joined community leaders, school administrators, representatives from the office of Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and others for a safety walk audit earlier this month that visited a series of designated intersections in Florence-Firestone. The walk was designed to identify areas in greatest need of infrastructure improvements to enhance safety and security. Last week, it was announced that Los Angeles County received $21.49 million from the federal government for traffic safety measures in Florence-Firestone. The money will fund such improvements as enhanced signal timing, crosswalk upgrades, and median islands at over 50 locations.
The walk included such well-traveled, dangerous intersections as 61st and Central, Central and Gage, and Gage and Hooper. “The goal was to evaluate the impact of the built environment on community safety and identify opportunities to address potential safety hazards that contribute to violence and trauma,” said Nellie.
OVP Participates in Violence Prevention Health Symposium
Event hosted by Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
On Sunday, January 22, mere hours after the horrific mass shooting in Monterey Park, Ivette Diaz-Quintero, Trauma Prevention Initiative Regional Coordinator, represented the Office of Violence Prevention at the Violence Prevention Health Symposium in Pasadena. The event was sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. Ivette joined the other panelists to discuss how violence in all forms is a public health issue, demanding public health solutions.
“The follows of the program are truly inspirational,” said Ivette.
“Their passion and commitment toward providing equitable health for healthcare for all will be a driving force for change.”
OVP holds Community Meeting at East LA Housing Complex
Nueva Maravilla Residents Recovering from Recent Trauma
Nueva Maravilla is a 504-unit housing complex in East Los Angeles designed for families and seniors. Last summer, a teen-aged resident died at the location as the result of a penetrating wound. His body remained on the outdoor basketball court for hours while authorities completed their work.
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