‘Vision Zero’ plan calls for end to homicides citywide

Supervisor Shamann Walton introduces proposal for citywide coordination of anti-violence efforts

San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton is proposing that the city take a stand against a rash of recent homicides and violent incidents by adopting a Vision Zero on Homicides and Violence resolution.

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Walton introduced the plan, which seeks to work with various city departments and community organizations to dramatically reduce the number of homicides and violent crimes in San Francisco to zero.

“It’s time for us to take a major stance against homicides and against violent crimes. It’s time to allocate resources and services to the areas that suffer from the plagues of violence the most here in San Francisco,” he said during a rally announcing the resolution earlier Tuesday outside of City Hall.

“This year in the Bayview alone, as of July 19, we’ve had seven murders, 17 shootings involving injuries and 55 shootings without injury. Although these are not the high numbers we used to see, this senseless violence has to stop,” he said.

According to Walton, his plan calls for violence prevention coordinators to be placed in districts affected by violence, such as the Tenderloin, the Bayview, and the Mission District among others, that would help manage violence prevention resources.

The plan additionally calls for better coordination and response from the city’s Police Department, the San Francisco Unified School District, the city’s Department of Public Health, SF Safe, the city’s Street Violence Intervention Program and San Francisco’s faith-based community.

Walton also said he’d like to see more cameras and beat officers in crime hotspots to deter violence and more community ambassadors.

Walton also wants to create programs for young people at risk to address mental health and trauma coping skills. A group of formerly incarcerated and rehabilitated individuals could also be formed to provide further mentoring for the at-risk youth, he said.

Police Chief William Scott joined Walton on Tuesday to show his support for the resolution, saying that his department has already taken its own approach to address violence in certain neighborhoods.

“We have increased up with patrols and we want to do that even more,” Scott said. “We’ve dedicated officers to a gun crime Investigations Unit, which has really made our reduction of gun violence more scientific, more forensic-based, and it’s made a difference. We’re putting patrols in hotspot areas and all those things, we’ll continue to do that.”

Sassana Yee, whose monolingual Chinese grandmother was brutally attacked in her Visitacion Valley home on Jan. 8 and remains hospitalized, said during Tuesday’s rally that she supports Walton’s resolution.

“It’s not just the Chinese community that is hurting; it’s all communities. And the vision of bringing unity and peace, especially peace in the southeast corner of San Francisco is critical,” Yee said.

Also calling for an end to homicides and violence was the mother of 15-year-old Day’Von Hann, Shay’ray Johnson. Hann was killed in a July 8 unsolved shooting near 24th and Capp streets.

“He wasn’t a bad kid. He wasn’t causing trouble, getting expelled, none of that,” she said. “Killing people is not solving anything.”

-By Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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