To some, it’s one of the most dangerous spots in America. Others know it as “a city that pays criminals to behave.” To DeVone Boggan, Richmond, Calif., on the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area, is where a group of people are trying to build safer neighborhoods after three decades of living in what’s essentially a war zone.
Boggan is the director of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS). It’s a bureaucratic title that belies his public-private agency’s innovative work on gun violence prevention and youth outreach. Founded in 2007, when Richmond’s murder rate was nine times the national average, ONS has since helped the rate plummet to its lowest levels in four decades… (read full article)