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Announcing drop in homicide rate, Mayor London Breed launches Peace Parks

January 20, 2018

Annual homicides in San Francisco have dropped 42 percent from a decade ago

Will future Warriors come from a Peace Park?

San Francisco – Acting Mayor London Breed announced on Jan. 19 that San Francisco’s homicide tally in 2017 dropped from the year prior and marked a 42 percent decrease from totals recorded a decade ago.

“One death on our streets is too many,” said acting Mayor Breed. “I have lost friends and families to senseless violence, and I know firsthand that the pain from these incidents never truly heals. But by working closely with our most impacted residents, we are building the foundation for safe, healthy communities for generations to come. Together, we can break these endless cycles of violence.”

Learning to cook and gobbling up good food is a good reason to go to your local Peace Park.

San Francisco recorded 56 homicides in 2017, down from 58 in 2016. The totals are a dramatic reduction from 10 years ago, when there were 96 homicides in San Francisco. San Francisco’s 6.4 homicides per every 100,000 residents is one of the lowest rates in the nation among major cities, according to data from 2016, the most recent year collected by the FBI.

Acting Mayor Breed announced the drop in homicides at the Potrero Hill Recreation Center alongside Supervisor Malia Cohen, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott and community members engaged in the revitalization and activation of parks as part of the City’s HOPE SF initiative.

Cooking and cleaning up can be almost as much fun as eating.

The recreation center is a participating site in the City’s Peace Parks collaboration, a community wellness and violence prevention partnership between youth residents, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Recreation and Park Department.

“Today, we proudly celebrate this investment of resources,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “High-quality wellness programs and recreational activities have transformative long-term impacts on children, families and communities. This is a promising glimpse into the future health of our city.”

Will Peace Parks produce the next Laila and Muhammad Ali?

The Peace Parks program supports underserved communities by offering safe spaces for healthy recreation while providing opportunities for residents to build relationships with local law enforcement members. Police officers familiar with the neighborhoods from local district stations are assigned to each site to partner with community members and Recreation and Park staff, providing a safe and inclusive space for park visitors of all ages.

“Our City’s parks are an important community resource,” said Police Chief William Scott. “Our goal is to bring families together to enjoy creative, fun programs and get to know their neighborhood-based officers in a safe, productive environment. When our City agencies team up with community members to provide opportunities for youth, the potential is unlimited.”

Dance and drama flourish at the Peace Parks.

Peace Parks is offered at the Herz Clubhouse and Playground in Visitacion Valley, Youngblood Coleman Clubhouse and Playground in Bayview Hunters Point and the Potrero Hill Recreation Center. SF Rec and Park creates the programming and officers from SFPD engage with the participants as part of the collaborative effort.

“Through the Peace Parks collaboration, we are able to offer different programs that are of interest to teenagers, young adults and families, all while building relationships in the community.” said Phil Ginsburg, Recreation and Park Department’s general manager. “The participation of the Police Department helps us ensure that everyone has access to healthy recreation in all our parks at all times.”

At your nearby Peace Park, you can learn to cut hair … and get a haircut in the process.

Peace Parks is a key component of the SFPD’s community policing strategy. It is one of several community efforts to complement the City’s HOPE SF initiative, a comprehensive commitment to replace and transform San Francisco’s public housing communities into vibrant, mixed-income communities without displacement of existing residents.

The Peace Parks programming focuses on exercise, nutrition, job readiness and creative recreation outlets and is developed based on each community’s unique needs. Programs include General Education Diploma (GED) courses, job and skills training and classes related to dance, nutrition education, cosmetology, boxing and disk jockey skills. The Peace Parks program is funding by the City’s General Fund with an annual budget of $648,447, serving as many as 300 individuals a month.

To remove any registration and administrative challenges, recreational programming is offered on rolling basis, every Thursday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The program operation hours are selected to meet the recreation demands when many young people do not have many options for fun and healthy recreation programming.

Acting Mayor London Breed can be reached at City Hall, Room 200, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-554-6141 or London.Breed@sfgov.org.

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