How bad has gun violence gotten in Sacramento, Calif.? City leaders now plan to pay gang members $1.5 million for a cease-fire.
Following a fatal shooting last weekend in a city park, the Sacramento city council unanimously approved a controversial program called Advance Peace in an effort to address a recent spike in violence.
The program offers gang members cash stipends for graduating from school and generally staying out of trouble.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg requested that the vote be moved up in response to the park shooting, which left one person dead and four injured, Fox 40 reported. The vote was supposed to take place in two weeks.
"Let's get going on doing everything we can to save innocent lives," Steinberg told Fox 40.
The $1.5 million in cash stipends to gang members will come from the city’s general fund. A similar program is being used in Richmond, Calif., and Stockton is considering it.
In Sacramento, the city council voted 9-0 in favor of the program, but the language of the contract has not been finalized.
However, critics remain skeptical that the plan will be effective.
"How's the vote going to change anything? It's up to the community to change. You know what I mean? It's just senseless," Allen Brown, a friend of Ernie Cadena, 49, who was killed in the park shooting Sunday, told Fox 40.