City Councilman Allen Warren got to the crux of the matter Tuesday afternoon: How can Sacramento get the most bang for the buck in fighting gangs?
As The Bee's editorial board pointed out, the council has before it a staff proposal, another from the Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force and a third from the Sacramento Safe Community Partnership, which brought Ceasefire to town. At the same time, Police Chief Sam Somers Jr. is starting his own "cops and clergy" initiative to persuade gang leaders to give up the street life.
So Warren asked more good questions: Are these efforts complementary? Or are they competing for resources?
The answer seems to be a little of both.
Ceasefire could potentially receive a grant if the council funds the mayor's task force request for $1 million in Measure U money in 2013-14. But those supporting Ceasefire say there's no guarantee and want their own $490,000 budget item. Meanwhile, the city Parks and Recreation Department is planning to restore programs for at-risk youth at community centers.
Warren has a particular interest because his district includes Del Paso Heights, the likely candidate to be the next Ceasefire neighborhood if the money is approved.
Warren said he believes Ceasefire can make a difference, but said there should be a multi-pronged approach with all these groups working together.
The big questions now are whether that kind of cooperation is possible -- and whether an agreement can be worked out before the council adopts the budget.