San Diego’s plan to stop murders? They’ve asked gangs to stop shooting at each other for 6 months.


This article contains editorial content written by a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.


SAN DIEGO, CA – Apparently, San Diego city government and law enforcement leaders recently banded together to launch a pilot program dubbed as “No Shots Fired”, where they’re asking gang leaders and members to stop shooting at each other for six months

San Diego has been dealing with quite the rough patch when it relates to violent crime.

While the city had in the past been considered generally one of the safer large cities in the United States, 2020 saw a 28% uptick in gun violence and a 20% increase in people reporting gunfire to the San Diego Police Department.

Furthermore, gang activity has reportedly been responsible for 20% of all the city’s murders in the past three years.

As the adage goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. 

And one can’t get more desperate than groveling, which it seems like the city is resorting to with the “No Shots Fired” effort. 

Mayor Todd Gloria spoke about the “No Shots Fired” program on March 3rd, saying the following: 

“The recent increase of shootings in our city is cause for great concern, but it demands that we lean-in as a community rather than shy away.”

“The No Shots Fired program represents an important collaboration between the city, law enforcement and community that seeks to stop gun violence, promote peace and create safer neighborhoods for all of us.”

So here’s the long and short on this “No Shots Fired” program. 

The “No Shots Fired” program is being launched by the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, the Community Assistance Support Team, local law enforcement and other various city partners. 

These groups will work together to organize “community walks”, engage in what they call “organized outreach”, organize shared meals, have basically Zoom meetings with gang members and also ask them to stop shooting at each other for six months. 

Obviously, the detailed plan as shared by officials went into a more in-depth breakdown of this effort, complete with enough optimistic phrasing and presentation that could make a Care Bear blush. 

City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe, the chair of the council’s Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods, was among those that thinks the “No Shots Fired” initiative might just work: 

“[T]he No Shots Fired Program is a step in the right direction to provide a policy solution that quells violence, promotes economic justice, and improves community policing relationships.”

I’ll say that there’s nothing inherently wrong with this sort of approach – as in asking people to stop shooting each other, and being hopeful that the effort would be successful. 

But, this isn’t exactly some brand new approach, as there’s been all sorts of “No Shots Fired” programs before across the country over the years. Heck, the city of Baltimore has something similar – although their program only asks for “ceasefire weekends”. 

If we’re being honest, these sort of ceasefire treaties with gang members and city officials don’t actually accomplish any true-to-form ceasefires. Sure, they might have some impact on reducing some violent crime…but they’re far from a pie in the sky success. 

Furthermore, gang culture and structure has evolved significantly over the years in a manner where there’s no longer just a couple of top-dog, shotcallers that can be amassed in one setting for peace treaty talks.

There’s only two places where these sort of ceasefire treaties work out perfectly: in the heads of naïve people; and in ’80s and ’90s movie plots. 

While I certainly hope that San Diego sees a complete adoption of the “No Shots Fired” program mantra by local miscreants, I’m not going to be shocked if the ceasefire calls aren’t adhered to in the area.

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Speaking of ceasefire endeavors, we at Law Enforcement Today brought you an editorial in February of 2020 regarding Baltimore having one of the deadliest weekends in “ceasefire” history. 

Here’s that previous editorial. 


This article contains editorial content written by a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.


BALTIMORE, MD- What was intended to be a weekend without violence and gunfire wound up becoming the most violent “Ceasefire” weekend to date.

Despite a call to put down guns for a 72-hour period, 15 people wound up being shot and four people were killed.

While these gestures are well-intended, it’s obvious that criminals don’t obey laws. So, why would they honor requests to end violence elsewhere?

Erricka Bridgeford helped establish the Baltimore Ceasefire weekends, which take place four times a year. With the string of shootings and deaths that transpired the past weekend, she marked it as the most violent Ceasefire weekend they’ve ever had:

“Life was being celebrated all over the city, while we were also getting notifications that we were losing people.”

When speculating about why there was so much violence that plagued the weekend intended to place a halt to violent crime, Bridgeford assumed it was because people just haven’t heard about their cause.

Bridgeford stated:

“We know there are over 600,000 people in Baltimore and a lot of them don’t even know when a ceasefire is or heard of us. We have a lot of work to do to inform people, because what we do know is that when people know there’s a Ceasefire they actually honor it.”

Optimism is a great thing, but there’s literally no way to tell if people actually honor these Ceasefire calls because they’ve been spoken aloud. Bridgeford even acknowledged the fact that the good the Ceasefire weekends bring isn’t measurable:

“So it’s easy to quantify how many people got shot this weekend. It’s easy to quantify how many people got killed since the year started.

What’s not easy to quantify is how many lives are saved? How many people didn’t die or get shot, because of all of the good work people are doing in Baltimore.” 

First, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with driving awareness to the harm gun violence does in communities, and obviously Bridgeford is coming from a well-intentioned place.

However, just because intentions are good, it doesn’t absolve them from being naïve.

For those determined to enact any kind of violence – which directly conflicts with laws established forbidding them – it’s doubtful that someone saying to “stop shooting for three days” will magically make the violence disappear.

It’s unlikely someone who has shot and killed people in cold blood would hear about the Ceasefire weekend and go “Huh, I never looked at it like that before!” That kind of anecdote might work in movies, but compelling change isn’t that easy.

Mayor Jack Young, while disturbed at the level of violence that happened in the city, believes that the Ceasefire weekends are effective:

“Those efforts are working. It could be worse. They do a great job of advocating no shootings and stop the violence. We just have to do more and really get to the systemic issue that’s facing all of this criminal activity.”

If things were really working overall in Baltimore, then the city wouldn’t be listed as only safer than 2 percent of all the U.S. cities. However, the noting that the mayor made regarding trying to find the underlying issue fueling criminal activity is worth working on.

One person who wants to see the crime drop, and fast, is Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. While some hope that asking people to stop shooting each other will achieve results, Governor Hogan errs more on better policing:

“It really takes some leadership in the city to start getting tough. There’s no crime plan, there’s no continuity and it’s just simply unacceptable that people are being shot and killed in the streets every single day, and people are fed up with it.”

While we’re hardly admonishing Bridgeford’s sentiments in the Ceasefire efforts, it’s going to take a lot more than just asking people to stop shooting.


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