City of St. Louis Office of Violence Prevention to Participate in National OVP Network Event at White House

Staff from the Office of Violence Prevention will participate in an event hosted by the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention

May 22, 2024 | 2 min reading time

On May 22, 2024, staff from the Office of Violence Prevention, a division of the Department of Public Safety, will join other members of the National Offices of Violence Prevention Network (NOVPN) by participating in an event hosted by the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention focused on community violence intervention and collaborative work to build an ecosystem of Offices of Violence Prevention (OVPs) to keep our communities safe. 

OVPs, also known as offices of neighborhood safety and other names, are premised on the notion that community safety should not be the exclusive province of policing and the criminal justice system. Charged with addressing public safety through the lens of public health, OVPs typically focus on the application of community-based strategies to intervene in or prevent violence for those at highest risk of engaging in or being the victim of gun violence. 

Established in July 2022 under Mayor Tishaura Jones’ visionary leadership, the OVP embarked on a mission to forge safe, violence-free neighborhoods through community-centered approaches. The office, led by Wilford Pinkney Jr., serves as a division within the City’s Department of Public Safety and focuses on community violence interventions, youth diversion programs, and alternative response strategies, all under a comprehensive public health framework. 

Numerous local and state governments have recently established OVPs in response to nationwide surges in violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with this momentum, in September 2023, President Biden established the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to reduce gun violence and implement and expand upon key executive and legislative action which has been taken to save lives. This White House gathering of NOVPN members from more than 40 jurisdictions represents an exciting next step in President Biden’s commitment to ending gun violence in our country. 

“The historic investment in Community Violence Intervention has allowed our office to build a comprehensive violence reduction infrastructure that addresses the root causes of gun violence in a holistic way that can not be accomplished by law enforcement and local government alone,” said Wilford Pinkney Jr., Director of the Office of Violence Prevention. 

“The NOVPN team is excited to have Network members from across the country join us at the White House in this first of its kind discussion in our nation’s history,” said NOVPN Director Shantay Jackson. “These leaders are at the forefront of their local jurisdictions, working tirelessly with their communities and partner agencies in the reduction of gun violence and, as we head into the summer months, this conversation is necessary, timely, and invaluable.” 

About NOVPN 

The National Offices of Violence Prevention Network (NOVPN) is a first-of-its-kind learning community with the goal of significantly increasing the expertise and effectiveness of offices of violence prevention and other similar agencies. The NOVPN hosts virtual and in-person convenings; provides trainings on violence reduction practices; coordinates cross-OVP learning exchanges; offers leadership development; and builds OVP capacity in data collection, fund development, and media relations.

The NOVPN also supports the creation of new OVPs in jurisdictions interested in developing such agencies, and the Network partners with the White House’s National Office of Gun Violence Prevention to facilitate access to OVPs. Originally established in 2021 with a membership of 21 established OVPs, the Network has grown to nearly 60 members, including multiple state-level offices of violence prevention and local OVPs launched with NOVPN support. To learn more, visit The NOVPN is a strategic initiative of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR). To learn more about NICJR, visit

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