DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — City and county leaders in Durham are tripling down on the Bull City United program. An interlocal agreement approved on Monday will mean an increase in staff from eight to 26 and a service area increase from two census tracts to six.
Bull City United got its start in Durham in November 2016 as a program to address gun violence by proactively mitigating conflicts in violent crime-heavy areas.
The program was crafted after a model known as “Ceasefire” in Chicago that put violence interrupters and outreach workers in neighborhoods with high gun violence. These advocates would “use their street credibility to model and teach” methods of resolving conflicts peacefully, according to the City of Durham.
The interlocal agreement inked between the City of Durham and Durham County on Monday will not only keep the Bull City United program going, but to dedicate more resources, people and service areas to it.
Initial scope of Bull City United
The initial two census tracts with the highest incidents of violent crime per 1,000 residents were selected as the program’s service area. Those tracts—13.01 and 14.00—have since seen an “overall decline in gun-related crimes,” according to the interlocal agreement.
Durham County, who is currently responsible for the salaries, benefits and operating expenses for these two service area tracts, will continue to provide the funding for the eight people assigned to them. These positions include one program manager, one supervisor, three violence interrupters and three outreach worker.
What’s being added?
The interlocal agreement is adding four new, city-funded census tracts to the existing two that are county-funded. Those new tracts are 11.00, 13.04, 17.09 and 23.00.
Curious if you live in any of these areas? Use the interactive map below to find yours.
To cover the costs associated with staffing such an expansion, the agreement states that the City of Durham will pay Durham County up to $935,488 in an annual contribution. The budget is enough to hire 18 new staffers.
These 18 positions are set to include one supervisor, five outreach workers and 12 violence interrupters. The agreement also stipulates that quarterly reports must be presented to the Durham City Council on the program’s mediations, outcomes and other essential data.
The new agreement can be renewed annually for up to five years, not to extend past June 30, 2027.