Reimagining Public Safety


Violence Prevention

The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) uses a community-focused, public health approach to prevent violence and keep communities safe. This organization has been developing programs within Minneapolis for several years and the City Council recently expanded its funding by reallocating dollars from the Minneapolis Police Department to the OVP in the city’s 2021 budget. These funds will support existing and new programming as well as seven new full time (FTE) staff to ensure adequate resources for OVP efforts.

The OVP’s approach is designed to acknowledge and address societal structural barriers and the interplay between social, economic, political and cultural conditions in the cycle of violence. The OVP recognizes that factors impacting violence include racism, limited economic opportunities, community disinvestment and poor housing conditions.

Partly through grants, the OVP coordinates city-wide efforts around violence prevention, including service coordination with jurisdictional partners, capacity building with small community-based agencies, and partnerships on community engagement activities. The OVP issues requests for competitive solicitations for violence prevention projects then awards funds to the specific community organizations.

OVP Approach and Programming

OVP uses a three-level prevention approach:

  • Up Front: to address the roots of violence to keep it from happening
  • In The Thick: to intervene early at first signs of risk
  • Aftermath: to protect those hurt and restore those who have gone down the wrong path; highly focused on a small group of people

You can read more about their approach on the OVP’s web page.

OVP programming includes:

  • Project LIFE/Group Violence Intervention 
  • MinneapolUS Strategic Outreach Initiative
  • Next Step – a hospital-based intervention program
  • The Juvenile Supervision Center for curfew, truancy and low-level offenders (alongside Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Schools)
  • Individualized case management and mentoring for youth at risk of involvement with violence, street and community outreach and positive youth engagement and implementation of a teen dating violence curriculum

Read more about programming

Community Navigator Program

The Community Navigator Program helps establish and strengthen traditional and non-traditional partnerships between MPD and the community. Coordination of this program was shifted to OVP from the MPD during the 2021 budgeting process.

See the January 8, 2021 League of Women Voters Civic Buzz for a discussion with the Director of the OVP and the Chief of Police on violence prevention and the community.

Learn more about the role of the OVP.

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