Oakland's Ceasefire Strategy


Oakland's Ceasefire

The Oakland Ceasefire Strategy has Three Goals:

1. Reduce gang/group-related shootings and homicides: Ceasefire focuses on the most violent gangs/groups and individuals who are at the greatest risk of shooting or being shot. We communicate directly with individuals through large group meetings ("Call-Ins") or by meeting with them one-on-one ("custom notifications"). Ceasefire includes community outreach, services, and support and, when necessary, multi-agency law enforcement action focused specifically on gangs/groups and individuals who continue to engage in violence.

2. Decrease recidivism and incarceration rates of individuals participating in the intervention: Outreach and support services are provided by the City of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention and its network of citywide community-based direct service organizations all dedicated to helping participants by offering real alternatives, resources, advocacy, mentoring life coaching.

3. Strengthen police-community relations: Vital to the success of the Ceasefire Oakland strategy are community and faith leaders. Partners like Faith In Action East Bay and the National Institution for Criminal Justice Reform provide leadership, advocacy, and resources from a community perspective that strengthen the spectrum of support for participants while pushing for mutual accountability and transparency among all partners in achieving the strategic goals.

Ceasefire flow chart
Ceasefire flow chart

Ceasefire History

In Oakland, data indicates that most shootings and homicides involve gang/group members. However, out of the approximately 50 violent groups in Oakland, only a small number are active at any one time and only a small subset of these groups—approximately 0.3% of the entire City’s population—is at the highest risk of driving or drawing gun violence. In 2012, a group of Oakland Community Organization (OCO) pastors, alarmed by the growing number of young men of color being killed on the streets of Oakland, met with city leaders to introduce a strategy called Ceasefire. The pastors believed that a strategy that had saved so many young lives in Boston could save lives in Oakland as well. In October 2012, the Ceasefire Oakland Partnership was created by the City of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department (OPD). The Ceasefire Strategy continues as a policing approach and as a powerful anti-violence message to groups and individuals at the highest risk of gun violence.

California Partnership for Safe Communities (CPSC) is a hands-on technical advisor who worked with Oakland to develop and implement Ceasefire. CPSC's work in Oakland focused the City on reducing gun violence, reducing incarceration, improving police-community trust, and sustaining the Ceasefire strategy.

Ceasefire Partners


FAITH IN ACTION EAST BAY is a federation of congregations, schools, and allied community organizations. Through relationships, research and action, Faith in Action East Bay leaders live out the call to serve one another and to seek justice.



a national non-profit organization based in Oakland, provides technical assistance to the Ceasefire strategy, training to Ceasefire service providers, and supports the coordination of the Direct Communication component of the strategy. The NICJR Executive Director has been involved in Oakland Ceasefire since its inception in October 2012.

Logo DVP

DEPARTMENT OF VIOLENCE PREVENTION (DVP), a City of Oakland Department, is dedicated to eliminating violence through a public health and trauma-informed approach. As a funder and direct service provider, DVP coordinates a network of 26+ community-based organizations that provide comprehensive, culturally-responsive support services including Intensive Life Coaching, Employment and Education Support, Crisis Response, Violence Interruption, Street Outreach, and Community Engagement. DVP’s network agencies support those at the highest risk of being involved in violence through intense service relationships focused on healing, empowerment, and personal transformation.

Rev. Dr. George Cummings, pastor of Imani Community Church and Chair of the Ceasefire Steering Committee

Rev. Dr. George Cummings, the pastor of Imani Community Church and Chair of the Ceasefire Steering Committee, accepts the Neighborhood Champions’ Award, recognizing his work with Ceasefire Oakland.

Members of Imani Community Church

Imani Community Church, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, At Thy Word, First Mt. Sinai, New Revelation Community Church, St. Benedict’s Catholic Church as well as faith leaders from various churches throughout the Bay Area.

Alameda County Probation, Oakland Housing Authority, Alameda County District Attorney, California (CA) Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CA Attorney General, CA Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshal, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and several local law enforcement jurisdictions work as a collaborative, focusing on individuals and groups most likely to be involved in violent crime.

local orgs and employers

Victims of violence provide personal testimony of how violence changed their lives during direct communication (Call-Ins and custom notifications) with Ceasefire participants. Residents of affected neighborhoods provide a voice and presence from their community through their participation in Ceasefire Steering Committee meetings and during direct communications. Formerly incarcerated individuals speak to young men and their families, advocating for peace. Local organizations and employers such as the Private Industry Council (PIC), Home of Chicken and Waffles, Oakland California Youth Outreach (OCYO), Civicorps, Oakland Rotary, and others offer a path to employment.

(former) Ceasefire Program Director Reygan Cunningham (center) addresses the National Network for Safe Communities at the National Practitioners Conference at John Jay College

(former) Ceasefire Program Director Reygan Cunningham (center) addresses the National Network for Safe Communities at the National Practitioners Conference at John Jay College

Our National Partner:

Ceasefire Oakland works in collaboration with the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College. Our strategy is constantly informed by best practices and the help of The National Network for Safe Communities. This partnership enables Oakland and communities around the United States to adopt and implement strategies that have been proven to reduce violent crime.


Ceasefire is a partnership-based, intelligence-led, and data-driven violence reduction strategy. The major goal is to reduce gang/group-related homicides and shootings. Ceasefire seeks to combine the best of community energies, social services, and strategic law enforcement to reduce gun violence associated with gangs/groups far more effectively than these entities operating alone.

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