The Department of Violence Prevention applies a public health approach to violence prevention focused on community-led intervention strategies to realize sustained safety and stability of the families and communities most impacted by violence.
The Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) was established in 2017 to tackle the challenges with violence in Oakland. Where previous city programs focused primarily on those at the center of violence, the DVP has an expanded prevention and intervention mission of advocating for and supporting families impacted by unsolved cold cases and addressing broader community trauma. The ultimate goal is a safer and thriving Oakland for all.
Interim Chief of Violence Prevention
Born and raised in Oakland, Kentrell Killins has demonstrated a unique ability to compassionately bridge our most marginalized communities with city government. Kentrell began his professional career in the field of violence prevention in 1993 at the West Oakland Violence Prevention Center, and he has provided direct services to individuals, families, communities, and schools for over 25 years. In 2001, he began providing mentoring and healing services inside Alameda County juvenile detention facilities, something he continues to do on weekends as a part of his ministry to young people at the center of violence. Kentrell was nationally certified as a life coach while on the staff at East Bay Asian Youth Center and shortly thereafter, joined the City of Oakland in 2018 as a member of Oakland Unite, at that time a division of the Human Services Department.
Kentrell was active in the community organizing efforts that led to the development of the Department of Violence Prevention. When the DVP became operational in 2020 Kentrell assumed a leading role in organizing and coordinating prevention strategies. He is a tireless and compassionate advocate for families victimized by violence, and personally tracks and processes every shooting with injuries throughout the city. He models the message that no family should have to face the trauma of a homicide, without the support of their city government.
Most recently, Kentrell has been serving as DVP’s Interim Deputy Chief of Community Relations and Direct Practice Oversight, a role that combines direct practice oversight, administrative duties, and relationship building with elected officials and community organizations, as those families closest to the violence associated with turf identity. Kentrell Killens is an ordained minister, husband, and father of five children whose position as a public servant in city government serves as a mirror that reflects hope for all of Oakland’s children impacted by violence.