White House Hosts National Offices of Violence Prevention Network

Jonathan McMillan, director of the Firearm-Related Harm and Violence Prevention (FHVP) Program Office at Colorado’s Trailhead Institute joined 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. 

The FHVP Program Office housed at Trailhead Institute launched in April 2024 with the focus of bridging coordination across communities, governmental agencies and OVPs, academic institutions, private sector partners, and philanthropic leaders engaged in firearm-related harm prevention in Colorado. The vision of the FHVP Program Office is to ensure that each community that struggles with firearm-related harm has the tools, knowledge, and community-level partnerships to implement strategic public health strategies to reduce and prevent firearm-related harm and violence. The FHVP Program Office will work with partners across the state to complement one another’s efforts for a comprehensive strategy that serves the needs of Coloradans. In its pilot year, the FHVP Program Office will lead robust engagement with Colorado communities impacted by firearm-related harm to inform the development of a strategic plan to build action from Colorado’s summary report from the 2023 Public Health Roundtable on Firearm-Related Violence Prevention. 

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 harm caused by firearms is personal to me. I’ve known way too many people who have died, families torn apart, and communities devastated by preventable firearm-related suicides, homicides, and injuries,” said McMillan. “I’ve had the privilege of helping build and lead offices focused on violence prevention both at the municipal and state level, and now as a part of Trailhead Institute, a statewide community public health initiative. In each of these roles I’ve met my counterparts from all across the country who are amazing, committed leaders in their cities and states. Being a part of this network of leaders allows us to come together, learn from one another, and see the work happening locally as part of a national movement to build a safer future for all communities.”

“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. ”



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 https://ovpnetwork.org/. The NOVPN is a strategic initiative of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR). To learn more about NICJR, visit https://nicjr.org/.