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Violent Crime Reduction Roadmap

Working Together to Build Safer Communities

Action 2. Identify the key people and places driving the violence.

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Research consistently shows that violence disproportionately concentrates among small numbers of individuals, groups, and locations at the highest risk for violence. Before taking action, leaders should perform analyses to identify the people and places driving violence in their jurisdiction.

DOJ has training and technical assistance resources to help local jurisdictions set goals, perform analyses, and develop plans for reducing crime and violence. Flexible grant funding can support these activities as well. Helpful reports, publications, and other materials are also provided. Key resources are identified below, followed by links to additional resources. These same resources are also listed for Actions 1 and 3, since these three are related to one another.

Key Resources

Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative

The Community-Based Violence Intervention (CVI) and Prevention Initiative provides funding to support evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs. The CVIPI webpage provides access to a variety of resources for planning, implementing, supporting, and assessing community-based violence intervention and prevention efforts. CVIPI funding can support goal-setting, analysis, and planning activities.

Community Violence Intervention Implementation Checklist

Developed with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Community Violence Intervention Implementation Checklist captures background information about CVI efforts, CVI guiding principles, and details on the following specific steps to take when implementing CVI programs.

Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center

The BJA National Training and Technical Assistance Center connects justice agencies with national experts to help reduce violent and drug-related crime. A specific Violence Reduction Response Center connects localities with resources to help address the work of identifying where and among whom violence is concentrating. Jurisdictions interested in implementing strategies outlined in the Roadmap may also contact NTTAC to request TTA from the Police Executive Research Forum. In collaboration with BJA and a cadre of subject matter experts, PERF will coordinate no-cost TTA services designed to enhance jurisdictions’ capacity to reduce community gun violence and promote community trust.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Project Safe Neighborhoods is spearheaded by each U.S. Attorney’s Office, bringing together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, community leaders and other stakeholders to identify their most pressing violent crime problems and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. The PSN website includes training resources for all localities working to reduce violence, including a gun violence resource hub. Localities should connect with their United States Attorney’s Office to better understand these resources.

National Public Safety Partnership

The National Public Safety Partnership is a network of communities who are committed to implementing evidence-informed approaches to reducing violence and enhancing public safety. It is a DOJ-wide program that connects communities with peers and experts to receive coordinated training and technical assistance. There are many resources available to all jurisdictions – including virtual training academies and published materials - through the Clearinghouse, including numerous resources supporting the identification of individuals and locations most at-risk of violence.

Local Law Enforcement Crime Gun Intelligence Center Integration Initiative

CGIC grants provide funding to local law enforcement to incorporate business practices that allow for them to utilize the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network and eTrace to generate crime gun intelligence. NIBIN automates ballistics evaluations of gun case images and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner. 

Additional Resources

Grant Funding

Training & Technical Assistance

Project Safe Neighborhoods Training and Technical Assistance Program

BJA, in partnership with Michigan State University, the CNA Institute for Public Research, and the National Center for Victims of Crime, provides training and technical assistance in the implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods.

OJJDP National Training and Technical Assistance Center

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides TTA resources to address the needs of juvenile justice practitioners and support state and local efforts to build capacity and expand the use of evidence-based practices.

OJJDP National Gang Center

The National Gang Center contains numerous resources to support communities that are working to prevent and reduce violence. The NGC provides both direct engagement and guidance to assist localities where those people and places most at-risk of experiencing violence are involved in group-related violence.

Smart Policing Initiative

The Smart Policing Initiative generally is available only to program grantees, but there are publicly available resources on the website. These resources include implementation guides, toolkits, survey guides, community engagement strategies, and problem-oriented policing tactics.

Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative

The Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative provides funding and assistance to rural law enforcement agencies seeking to reduce violent crime. Many of the resources are for grantees, but publicly available resources include a clearing house of guides, reports, podcasts and webinars from researchers, partner agencies, and innovators on addressing drivers of violence across different types of communities.

Guides, Reports and Webinars

BJA Violent Crime Reduction Summit Resource Center

Resources from the BJA Violent Crime Reduction Summit designed to offer insights and tools to jurisdictions in addressing violent crime that impacts their communities.

National Public Safety Partnership Social Network Analysis Webinar

This webinar outlined the concept of social network analysis (SNA) and how this tool can be utilized to further crime-reduction strategies. Topics included visualizing a network and types of network data related to SNA, understanding group dynamics and the utilization of SNA in focused deterrence, SNA associated with hotspots as well as NIBIN linkages, and potential implementation challenges and legal considerations.

Project Safe Neighborhoods Blueprint for Success (PDF, 4.3 MB)

This BJA resource provides background information about the DOJ initiative Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), how to build a strong PSN initiative, including the use of data and evidence, key design elements, and training and technical assistance services available.  This report also identifies and describes the implementation of the various PSN features linked to its effective performance.

Paving the Way for Project Safe Neighborhoods: SACSI in 10 US Cities (PDF, 353 KB)

The Department of Justice launched the Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI) to test data-driven intervention strategies for targeted homicide, youth violence, firearm violence in 9 cities and rape and sexual assault in 1 city. The study found that the SACSI approach, when implemented effectively, is associated with reductions in targeted violent crimes, sometimes by as much as 50 percent. This report highlights the key elements that led to success of SACSI, such as leadership provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the integration of research into planning and intervention strategies, collaborative strategic planning, and implementation of various intervention strategies.

The Role of Technology in the Strategies for Policing Innovation Program: Challenges, Solutions, and Lessons Learned -- Software Edition (PDF, 689 KB)

This report provides case study reviews of sites where Strategies for Policing Innovation initiatives implemented two software technologies: risk terrain modeling (New Haven, Connecticut) and social network analysis (Cincinnati, Ohio; Glendale, Arizona; and Kansas City, Missouri).

Boston, Massachusetts, Strategies for Policing Innovation II: Improving Homicide Clearance Rates: The Value of Analysis to Guide Investments in Investigative Policies and Practices (PDF, 539 KB)

With the support of BJA using Strategies for Policing Innovation1 (SPI) funds, the Boston Police Department engaged in a problem-oriented policing enterprise to understand the underlying nature of its homicide clearance problem, develop appropriate responses to enhance its investigations of homicide victimizations, and evaluate the impact of the implemented intervention.

Understanding and Responding to Crime and Disorder Hot Spots

This guide highlights hot spots policing and uses the scanning, analysis, response, and assessment (SARA) model as a framework to discuss the process of understanding and responding to hot spots.

Notes From the Field: Using Evidence-Based Policing to Combat Violent Crime

This NIJ "Notes from the Field" article discusses evidence-based policing and the experiences of the Manchester (New Hampshire) Police Department in applying it to focused patrols in gun crime hot spots. Sgt. Matthew Barter describes why he became interested in evidence-based policing. He notes how Manchester Police used grant funding in 2015 to provide focused patrols in the gun crime hot spots.

Using Forensic Intelligence To Combat Serial and Organized Violent Crimes

In this NIJ Journal article, NIJ scientists describe how integrating forensic evidence into the intelligence process is an evolutionary next step in reducing, disrupting, and preventing violent crime.

From Crime Mapping to Crime Forecasting: The Evolution of Place-Based Policing

In this NIJ Journal article, an NIJ scientist reviews the history, landscape, and evolution of place-based policing. Over the years, NIJ has funded projects that explore, evaluate, and seed analytical techniques and technology to support law enforcement agencies that use place-based policing practices and strategies to help answer the question, “How do we best reduce crime and improve public safety?”

Violent Crime Reduction Operations Guide (PDF, 5.2 MB)

This BJA-sponsored, practitioner-focused guide outlines actions and activities that have contributed to successful crime-fighting strategies throughout the country. This guide complements existing conversations and offers a unique “for the field, by the field” perspective that combines best practices and research to assist law enforcement executives in assessing capacity and strategic planning.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Operation Ceasefire in Boston, MA

Operation Ceasefire is a problem-solving police strategy that started in Boston, MA and was designed to reduce gang violence, illegal gun possession, and gun violence in communities using a focused deterrence strategy. This program is rated Effective; when implemented in Boston, there were statistically significant reductions in youth homicide, citywide gun assaults, calls for service, and recovered new guns following implementation of the intervention. This program profile provides a description of the program, evaluation findings, and key implementation information.

Crime Solutions Practice Profile: Hot Spots Policing 

Hot spots policing strategies focus on small geographic areas or places, usually in urban settings, where crime is concentrated. Through hot spots policing strategies, law enforcement agencies can focus limited resources in areas where crime is most likely to occur. This practice is rated Effective for reducing overall crime and rated Promising for reducing violent, property, public order, and drug and alcohol offenses. This program profile provides a description of the practice and key evaluation findings.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)

This is a community-based program that brings police, local government agencies, and the community together to prioritize problems and prevention efforts in Chicago, Ill. The goal is to solve neighborhood crime problems, rather than react to only to their symptomatic consequences. The program is rated Promising. Police beats or geographical units that implemented the program experienced a statistically significant reduction in crime and calls to 911, compared with police beats that did not. This program profile details the description, methodology, and evaluation outcomes.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI)

A crime-focused initiative, designed to address gang-related gun homicides in selected cities. The Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI) was implemented in 12 select cities in response to increasing gang prevalence across the country. The main purpose of the CAGI was to prevent and reduce gang-related crime. The initiative involved a comprehensive model of suppression (enforcement), prevention, and reentry. The program is rated Promising; there was a significant reduction in gun homicides related to gang crime in cities that implemented the initiative.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Geographically Based Focused Deterrence Intervention (Midwest)

A geographically based focused deterrence intervention was implemented in a midwestern city, with the goal of reducing gun violence, particularly gang-related gun violence.  The dual place- and person-based components of focused deterrence strategies typically target gang networks and areas that suffer from high amounts of gang and gun violence. The target area was selected using official police data on the number of shots fired during a specific period of time. There was a statistically significant reduction in confirmed shots fired, residents’ reports of hearing gunshots, and residents’ reports of seeing gang activity. However, there was no statistically significant impact on calls for service for shots fired. The program is rated Promising.

Crime Solutions Practice Profile: Geographically Focused Policing Initiatives

Geographically focused policing initiatives increase the presence and visibility of police officers at specific high-crime locations to significantly reduce crime and disorder. When implementing geographically focused policing initiatives, the target areas may include small places (e.g., crime hot spots, problem buildings), smaller police-defined areas (e.g., beats), neighborhoods and selected stretches of roads or highways, or larger police-defined areas (e.g., precincts). This practice is rated Promising for reducing crime in treatment areas relative to control areas.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Safe Street Teams (Boston, MA)

Safe Street Teams (SST) is a place-based, problem-oriented policing strategy implemented by the Boston (Mass.) Police Department in response to a sudden increase in violent index crimes. The SST program was designed to reduce violent crime by assigning teams of BPD officers to targeted crime hot spots around the city and requiring them to implement problem-oriented policing strategies to address specific violence-related problems at each site. The program is rated Promising; treatment street units experienced statistically significant reductions in total violent index crime, robbery, and aggravated assault, compared with control street units. 

Bringing a Folding Chair: Planning for Community Violence Intervention and Prevention

During this webinar, a diverse group of multi-disciplinary leaders in the community-based violence intervention space spoke about the importance of cross-sector collaborations between trusted partners.

Meaningful Strategic Planning that Produces Results

In this webinar experts in strategic planning share experiences on how to get started and how to navigate challenging strategic planning issues. The session also includes considerations for multi-disciplinary partner engagement, strategic plan elements, ways to measure impact, and DOJ TTA opportunities.

The Prosecutors' Guide for Reducing Violence and Building Safer Communities

Informed by a roundtable of experienced prosecutors from around the country, this guide provides a systematic way for prosecutors’ offices to evaluate their practices with respect to the key elements of a successful violent crime reduction strategy. This guide is intended to enable the executives responsible for operating a prosecutor’s office to identify policies and practices that can be readily implemented, as well as those that represent actionable goals to work toward. It suggests practices that are customizable and scalable, from foundational to enhanced, depending on an office’s available resources and experiences, as well as jurisdiction-specific needs and challenges.

Project Safe Neighborhoods Webinar on Building and Enhancing PSN Partnerships and Strategies

This recorded webinar reviews strategies PSN programs have used for building partnerships, including approaches to planning, communication, information sharing, accountability and sustainability.

PSN Blueprint for Success

This guide provides information for prosecutors, law enforcement, and community partners to develop and sustain effective responses to violent crime. The guide provides insights on identifying stakeholders, establishing metrics, and utilizing training and technical assistance resources.

Violent Crime Reduction Operations Guide

This guide, developed under the leadership of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, provides an action plan for police leaders on how to focus their leadership on community engagement, partnerships, accountability, resources and sustainability, training and tactics, analytics and intelligence, and technology, to comprehensively work to reduce violence.

Policing the Connected World: Using Social Network Analysis in Police-Community Partnerships

This COPS Office report focuses on the use of Social Network Analysis in police-community partnerships and how this approach can reduce crime while building local trust. As demonstrated through examples in Chicago, Illinois; New Haven, Connecticut; and East Palo Alto and Stockton, California, gathering information from local residents and service providers allows police to gain actionable insights into which individuals and groups are at the greatest risk of engaging in or being victimized by violence. When law enforcement agencies can target their deterrence efforts, they increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.

Identifying Hot Spots of Juvenile Offending: A Guide for Crime Analysts

This COPS Office guide provides an overview of the procedures developed to identify and map hot spots of youth violence and crime and discusses how this information can inform problem-solving approaches that stress prevention and place-management strategies over enforcement strategies. It is intended as a resource for relatively experienced crime analysts who are familiar with extracting data to conduct hot spot analysis and to enable them to tailor their analyses.

Managing the Group Violence Intervention: Using Shooting Scorecards to Track Group Violence

Group shooting scorecards are a systematic means of identifying the groups that are driving violence to target for focused interventions administered by a partnership of community members, law enforcement, and social service providers. Developed to support focused deterrence strategies, shooting scorecards help ensure that law enforcement agencies focus scarce resources on the groups that consistently generate the most gun violence. This publication provides an overview of shooting scorecards, its links to problem analysis and performance measurement systems in police departments, the importance of data quality, and the key steps in using the scorecards.