SACRAMENTO — The controversial Advance Peace program is not without its critics, but others believe is can drastically reduce gun violence.
The City of Sacramento is about to sign a contract with Advance Peace, agreeing to pay half of its operating cost — $1.5 million.
“Participants are all individuals that are suspected at being at the center of cyclical and retaliatory gun violence,” Advance Peace CEO DeVone Boggan said.
Advance Peace identifies those participants, assigning them mentors and will offer what Boggan calls a Life Map Milestone Allowance — essentially a stipend payment for gang members who complete parenting classes or get a GED.
“I think it’s a flawed concept,” former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said.
McGinness says paying gang members to remain peaceful sets a dangerous precedent.
“You’re going to have something that’s going to have to sunset at some time,” he said. “In other words, you can’t continue to pay them forever. So what happens when that dynamic changes?”
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert also released a statement opposing the program. It’s a criticism Boggan is ignoring.
“I don’t have anything to say to them,” he told FOX40.
Instead, Boggan points to the program’s success in Richmond, Calif.
“It’s translated to a 71 percent reduction in gun violence in the City of Richmond,” Boggan said.
Meanwhile, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn says he’s willing to keep an open mind.
“We’re still dealing with gangs that we’ve been dealing with for years,” Hahn said. “So I’m more than willing to give new ideas such as advance peace, a try.”
Advance Peace says it’ll have boots on the ground in Sacramento in three to six months.
Meanwhile, Stockton is considering adopting the same program.