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Police Use Science and Community Partnerships to Reduce Gun Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2023

This article discusses police efforts to address increasing community mistrust and gun violence rates, highlighting the efforts of Cecilia Ashe and others; nothing that Ashe was a participant in the LEADS Program and former guest of the Just Science Podcast.


This National Institute of Justice (NIJ) publication describes police efforts to partner with community organizations and use evidence-based policing to address and reduce gun violence. The article focuses on Cecilia Ashe, who in 2021 was the Inspector of Operations in the Wilmington Police Department, in Delaware. She also appeared in an NIJ podcast on evidence-based methods for reducing gun violence in communities, and had participated in NIJ’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholars Program. The article discusses Ashe’s tactic of focusing on people and human contact through intelligence-led policing and engaging in social services, and notes that the reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic of stopping human contact and engagement led to the increase in Wilmington’s violence in subsequent years. The article also discusses the Group Violence Intervention (GVI) approach, which was used to engage directly with people who had the highest propensity for violence. Another focus of the article is Manchester Police Department’s Lt. Matthew Barter, who worked with the National Policing Institute (NPI) to use a science-based approach when combating violence; and Durham Police Department’s Jason Scheiss, who implemented a multi-year effort to identify specific areas where gun crime was concentrated, called Operation Bull’s Eye. The article emphasizes the benefits of using evidence-based gun violence reduction, and notes that persistence is critical for the issue. The article also provides links to the two related Just Science podcast episodes that focus on reducing gun violence, and gives additional information about the LEADS Scholars Program.

Date Published: June 1, 2023