The City created the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) in 2018, but earlier success started with youth violence prevention by the Minneapolis Health Department. The creation of our office was the next step in evolving areas of violence prevention focus. We're now able to consider community safety, and different forms of violence across a broad age spectrum.
Violence prevention at the City of Minneapolis
In 2006, Minneapolis named youth violence a public health issue. The Mayor and City Council gathered 30 community leaders and experts for a Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee. They created a comprehensive strategic plan called the Blueprint for Action to Prevent Youth Violence. The Minneapolis Health Department handled implementing The Blueprint. Our Health department's youth violence prevention work became a model that inspired other cities.
In 2012, the City joined nine other cities as part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. The Minneapolis Health Department released a revised Blueprint for Action to Prevent Youth Violence.
In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the Minneapolis Health Department a five-year grant for youth and teen dating violence prevention. Our health department was one of only five health departments in the US chosen for the grant. That opportunity was the beginning of an expansion to focus on many forms of violence.
Around the same time, the Minneapolis Health Department also began to expand the age range for services. We created a hospital-based violence intervention program (Next Step) with Hennepin Healthcare and North Memorial. We also launched local replication of the national Group Violence Intervention model. Both initiatives expanded the focus beyond youth violence.
The City created the OVP in 2018. We continue to operate the initiatives in place before the OVP. Our office now also provides strategic direction and coordination for the City's effort to reduce violence through many linked strategies. We are tasked with developing a new comprehensive plan for violence prevention in collaboration with community and other City staff. We also collect, analyze and report violence-related data from across the city enterprise. Our office regularly connects with regional, state and national efforts to reduce violence. And, we established a Violence Prevention Fund that provides funds to community for community-led violence prevention activities.