Violence Interrupters Program

Background

Community Violence in Wichita has risen steadily since 2016. In 2021, gun violence in Wichita accounted for approximately 74% of all homicides with 33 people killed with firearms, and an additional 207 people who were struck by bullets but survived their injuries. In addition, 48% of gun violence victims were 24 years old or younger. The ripple effects of violence extend beyond directly involved individuals to include their families, neighbors, educators, coworkers, and friends. Violence has increased due to the pandemic, and shooting incidents can affect the sense of safety and security of entire communities and affect everyday life, with the fear of violence worsening both health disparities and health outcomes.

As a strategy to combat gun violence, the city is identifying partnerships, resources, workers, and program structures to implement a Violence Interrupter site. On March 27, 2023, the city released a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking Community-based Organizations (CBOs) to stand-up violence interruption site(s) in two areas in Districts I and III.

Implementation Model

The City of Wichita is working alongside Cure Violence Global (CVG) to interrupt community violence (shootings and homicides) using strategies usually associated with disease control, including treating violence as an epidemic and reducing it by:

  1. Interrupting transmission
  2. Preventing future spread
  3. Changing group or community norms

The model is implemented in areas where violence is most acute. Violence Interrupters who have connections and credibility in the community work to prevent gun violence by mediating conflicts. Outreach workers are engaged to support those at the highest risk of being involved in shootings.

To gain understanding of what the program looks like in action, FrontlinePBS produced a documentary: The Interrupters.

CVG and the city will support CBOs to implement evidence-based violence interruption strategies. CBOs proximity to communities affected by high instances of firearm deaths, are uniquely positioned to help lead intervention efforts. Several independent evaluations of the Cure Violence Model have revealed reductions in shootings. Additional information can be found in CVG's Evidence Summary (PDF).

If you are interested in collaborating with the City and CVG to disrupt violence in Wichita or would like more information, please provide your contact information via email.

Implementation Timeline

  • August 2023
    • RFP Pre-proposal meeting scheduled on August 16, 2023 at 2:30 pm. Atwater Neighborhood City Hall (2755 E 19th Street N, Wichita, KS 67214)
    • RFP Pre-proposal meeting scheduled on August 18, 2023 at 1:30 pm. Wichita Water Center (101 E Pawnee Street, Wichita, KS 67211)
  • September 2023
    • Proposals Due Friday, September 8, 2023 by 3 pm, CDT
  • November 2023
    • Contract with CBOs
  • November 2023 through February 2023
    • Implement Violence Interrupter Site(s)

Interest in Participating

If you are interested in participating, the following processes can be started:

Replicating the Cure Violence Model