OAKLAND (KCBS)— Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was in West Oakland to help honor 22 community organizations that work to help young people turn their lives around from lives of violence.

She handed out more than a dozen awards to youths at the Oakland Senior Center on Thursday.

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She said the city must continue with its systematic approach to fighting violence that involves prevention, intervention and law enforcement.

Even though the city has seen four fatal shootings in less than a week, the mayor stressed that the city’s overall homicide rate is down.

She noted the organization’s critical role in violence prevention strategy along with Operation Ceasefire and other law enforcement efforts and said big-gang violence seems to be down.

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“In the areas where they’ve worked the hardest, it’s down. The shootings have been down in East Oakland and the murder rates have been down in East Oakland, but the overall murder rate is only down about 20-30 percent.

City Councilmember Noel Gallo, who was also at the event, stressed the continuing need for these types of youth-intervention programs in addition to enforcement.

“Just because I lock you up does not mean that you’re going to come out and be better out of that experience. So, we need to find different ways to reach out and this is one way,” Gallo said.

Quan said police consultant William Bratton and his team will recommend neighborhood-based initiatives next week in an effort to bring crime down.

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