Twin Cities selected for new White House violence intervention initiative


The Biden-Harris Administration last week introduced its new Community Violence Intervention (CVI) initiative which is a comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence and other violent crime. Minneapolis and St.Paul were two of the 15 cities selected to participate in the initiative.

According to the White House, this strategy implements preventative measures that are proven to reduce violent crime and attacks the root causes – including by addressing the flow of firearms used to commit crimes.

This strategy will use funds from the American Rescue Plan’s $350 billion budget to help state, local, territorial, and tribal governments get the money they need to put more police officers on the beat—with the resources, training, and accountability they need to engage in effective community policing—in addition to supporting proven Community Violence Intervention programs, summer employment opportunities, and other investments that we know will reduce crime and make our neighborhoods safer.

“Our country is experiencing an epidemic of gun violence, and Minneapolis isn’t immune to it. My proposal for the first wave of federal Rescue Plan funding features a strong commitment to violence prevention and intervention work in addition to resources for law enforcement,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “The strategies that we are advancing here in Minneapolis are aligned with President Biden’s collaborative Community Violence Intervention initiative, and we’re grateful for the White House’s commitment to working directly with local governments to curb gun violence.”

The initiative will also address the direct link between gun violence and the rise in violent crime by taking immediate steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including by strengthening ATF’s efforts to stem the flow of firearms used in crimes, and by launching multijurisdictional firearms trafficking strike forces to stop illegal gun trafficking across state lines.

Combined, the Administration’s comprehensive strategy aims to:

  • Stem the flow of firearms used to commit violence, including by holding rogue firearms dealers accountable for violating federal laws;
  • Support local law enforcement with federal tools and resources to help address summer violent crime;
  • Invest in evidence-based community violence interventions;
  • Expand summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and supports for teenagers and young adults; and
  • Help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter their communities.

With the secondary consequences of the pandemic and the proliferation of illegal guns over the same period, we have seen increased violence over the past year and a half. Homicides rose 30%, and gun assaults rose 8% in large cities in 2020. The number of homicides in the first quarter of 2021 was 24% higher than the number of homicides in the first quarter of 2020 and 49% higher than in the first quarter of 2019. Black and Brown Americans are disproportionately harmed by the direct and indirect consequences of gun violence.

President Biden said recently that the nation is experiencing an epidemic of gun violence. This violence he said robs us of loved ones and causes life-altering physical injuries. It causes lasting trauma, with cascading consequences for children, families, and communities. It steals our freedom, our sense of belonging and security, and has ripple effects on the U.S. economy.

The other jurisdictions that will be included in the initiative are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Detroit, King County, WA, Los Angeles, Memphis, Newark, Philadelphia, Rapid City, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.