• Impact

    The National Network's strategies have been deployed in many jurisdictions for nearly two decades. Evaluations have concluded that there is strong empirical evidence for their effectiveness in reducing violence and community disorder.

The crime prevention strategies of the National Network for Safe Communities have attracted significant media attention over twenty years. This page features the most recent coverage of our work and a searchable archive of media about the National Network's projects around the nation and abroad.

The National Network convenes regular conferences, working sessions and webinars to discuss and promote developments in its core areas of operation, showcase innovations, and set research and development priorities.

Recent Press

John Jay College Presents Findings on Misdeameanor arrests in New York City

October 2014  |  John Jay College   

A new report by John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Jeremy Travis and Professor Preeti Chauhan has found that New York’s crime is down to historic lows; felony arrests have dropped in half; and yet the rate of misdemeanor arrests has tripled, acutely impacting young men of color. The National Network believes this report gives a clear picture of the type of low level police activity that often increases friction between police and minority communities. This friction creates a profound imperative to enact strategies that promote fair, procedurally just policing, and foster racial reconciliation between police and communities. These are the priorities of both the National Network’s violence interventions and the new DOJ’s new National Initiative that we are leading.

Tags: New York City National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Connie Rice and Bill Bratton Discuss Police-Community Partnerships

October 2014  |  CUNY John Jay  

Last month, Connie Rice of Advancement Project and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton sat down at the Bridging the Great Divide workshop, hosted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Open Society Foundations, to discuss issues between police and communities.


Tags: New York City National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

President Obama Refers to National Initiative at Congressional Black Caucus Awards dinner

September 2014  |  The White House, Office of the Press Secretary  

Speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Awards annual dinner, President Barack Obama addressed the corrosive effect of mistrust between minority communities and law enforcement, adding that it harms communities that need law enforcement the most.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Baltimore Police Seize $3M Worth Of Drugs, Cash In Operation Ceasefire Bust

September 2014  |  Baltimore CBS Local  

As part of Baltimore's Operation Ceasefire, Baltimore PD made a drug bust netting $3 million in heroin and cash–all from one suspect who had recently attended an Operation Ceasefire call-in.

Tags: Baltimore Drug Market InterventionGroup Violence Intervention

“A Moment of Decision” About Policing

September 2014  |  WNYC  

John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Jeremy Travis spoke with Brian Lehrer of WNYC Radio about the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice and the broader context of present police-community relations in America.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Justice Department Launches Effort To Establish Trust Between Police, Communities

September 2014  |  St. Louis Public Radio  

St. Louis Public Radio discusses this month's recent announcement of the National Initiative to Build Community Trust and Justice with John Jay president Jeremy Travis and the Office of Justice Programs' senior policy advisor Ed Chung.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

The next frontier in police reform: training cops in empathy

September 2014  |  Vox  

Vox discusses the Justice Department's new initiative to strengthen the relationships between communities and the criminal justice system, which National Network for Safe Communities will lead. This article does a great job of breaking down the main ideas behind the initiative: enhancing procedural justice, reducing implicit bias, and promoting racial reconciliation between police and the communities they serve.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Justice Department aims to rebuild trust in police with community engagement initiative

September 2014  |  PBS Newshour  

In the wake of the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, the Justice Department is launching a $5 million initiative to foster better relationships between communities and their police departments. Gwen Ifill talks to Tracie Keesee of the Center for Policing Equity and Ronald Hampton of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

A Different Response to Intimate Partner Violence

September 2014  |  COPS Office Dispatch  

High Point Chief of Police Marty Sumner recently spoke to the COPS Office Dispatch about the city's initiative that places accountability squarely on domestic violence offenders, which is having a striking impact. Using the National Network’s approach, the strategy emphasizes deterrence, early intervention, and offender accountability, and since its implementation in 2009, High Point has experienced significant reductions in DV-related homicides, recidivism, and arrests.

Tags: High Point Domestic Violence Intervention

Better Strategies Sought to Curb Domestic Violence

November 2014  |  AP  

High Point's Offender-Focused Domestic Violence Initiative (OFDVI) gives offenders a clear message from law enforcement and the community that the violence must stop, a major shift from traditional domestic violence responses that place the onus on the victim to report the abuse and testify about it in court. Says Kennedy of the approach, "The feedback from the women is, 'You've got his attention. Things are better. Keep it up, and keep me out of it.'"

Tags: High Point Domestic Violence Intervention

AUSA Christopher Poole Recognized For Work With Chattanooga Violence Reduction Initative

October 2014  |  The Chattanoogan  

Last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Poole was recognized by the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys with the Exceptional Service Award for his work with Chattanooga's Violence Reduction Initiative, initiated by the city in 2013. U.S. Attorney Killian congratulated him, “The Eastern District of Tennessee is fortunate to have many quality federal prosecutors. I am proud that Assistant U.S. Attorney Poole was recognized for his exceptional work with this important initiative with the city of Chattanooga.”

Tags: Chattanooga Group Violence Intervention

Does Race Matter in Policing?

September 2014  |  Fusion  

Recent research suggests that police diversity and police-involved shootings are not related, despite widespread belief. Instead, the key element, as experts and cops suggest, is communication and understanding. Tracey Meares, who developed a strategy to instruct officers to explain how their actions can hurt their community rather than making aggressive demand agrees that while diversity can be important, what really matters on the ground is how an officer handles an interaction. “What really matters to people, more than how representative of the population a police force is, is how they treat people." Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin notes,"cultural competencies are really important.” 

Tags: Salinas Group Violence Intervention Racial Reconciliation

Guns Down. Don’t Shoot.

September 2014  |  Modern Luxury  

At a call-in meeting in Oakland, the police profess love and respect for the group members and now homicides are now on the decline. Could the two be connected? 

Tags: Oakland Group Violence Intervention

Baton Rouge’s BRAVE initiative expands to 70802 area

September 2014  |  The Advocate  

Due to the initiative's recent success, the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination team expanded its' efforts to cover the second most violent area of the city. BRAVE now covers the areas that account for over 50 percent of Baton Rouge’s violent crime.  

Tags: Baton Rouge Group Violence Intervention

FBI director honors New Orleans and Baton Rouge task forces with award

September 2014  |  The Times-Picayune   

GVI efforts in Louisiana's two largest cities has produced a prominent national award for New Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and East Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore. DA Leon Cannizzaro’s work with GVRS and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit in New Orleans won recognition from FBI director James B. Comey and the 2014 Director's Award for Distinguished Service to the Law Enforcement Community. This marks the first time a New Orleans district attorney has won the Director's Award.

Tags: Baton RougeNew Orleans Group Violence Intervention

Closing the Crime Gap to Reduce Inequality

September 2014  |  Washington Post   

Closing the crime gap entails more than just policing and new city ordinances, writes Yale University's Andrew Papachristos. Among the numerous gaps that contribute to inequality, closing the crime gap also means thinking about ways to enhance the legitimacy and fairness of our criminal justice system.

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention

How New Orleans is Using Innovation Strategy to Reduce Violent Deaths

September 2014  |  Co.Exist  

New Orleans is using a data driven innovation strategy to reduce violence after having studied strategies used by other cities like Memphis, Chicago, and University of Cincinnati's Robin Engel.  “The biggest thing that went against common belief is that a lot of our violence was related to groups and gangs,” says Charles West, who was appointed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to lead the New Orleans innovation delivery team. “We were always told that we didn’t have a gang problem. But we had gangs of significant size, and people just weren’t talking about it. More than anything, there wasn’t a specific form of policing strategy for groups and gangs.”

Tags: New Orleans Group Violence Intervention

NJ mayors hear from crime experts at Rutgers-Newark

September 2014  |  NJ.com  

On September 10th, New Jersey mayors of Jersey City, Newark and Paterson, prosecutors, police chiefs, and criminal justice experts convened at the Urban Mayors Roundtable on public safety at Rutgers University’s Police Institute to discuss strategies to reduce crime including focused deterrence responses to violence and building trust with the community. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka spoke of the debilitating effects of aggressive policing in minority neighborhoods, adding, “We have to have a police strategy that’s focused on the 1 percent we keep talking about as opposed to this big net." In addition, Newark Public Safety Director Eugene Venable spoke about Newark’s Violence Reduction Initiative. 

Tags: Newark Group Violence Intervention

Community members and law enforcement join together to stop gun violence in South Bend

August 2014  |  WNDU  

Over the last four years in South Bend, shootings have gone up during the summer months. However, this year has been different. Homicide is down this summer and the South Bend community leaders involved in the city's Group Violence Intervention think it's due to the success of the call-in meeting held in May, where law enforcement, community activists, and service providers spoke directly to group members about stopping the violence. South Bend held it's second call-in August 28th.

Tags: South Bend Group Violence Intervention

Shattered Lives: Offender Focused Domestic Violence Initiative

August 2014  |  Blog Talk Radio  

The National Network's pilot intervention aimed at the most dangerous domestic violence offenders is showing promising results in its initial implementation in High Point, North Carolina, and heading for replication in several other cities. Domestic violence victim advocate Shay Harger saw the essence of the approach from the outset: "It was the first time I'd had somebody say to me, "the victim doesn't have to take responsibility for somebody else's behavior." Harger and High Point Chief of Police Marty Sumner discuss the OFDVI approach.

Tags: High Point Domestic Violence Intervention

Message Getting Across in Sixth Peoria Don’t Shoot Call-In

August 2014  |  Central Illinois Proud  

Don't Shoot in Peoria held it's sixth call-in with group members, and the dedicated community members involved in the strategy believe the message is getting across. 

Tags: Peoria Drug Market InterventionGroup Violence Intervention

EBR prosecutors take new tack in domestic violence prosecutions

August 2014  |  The Advocate  

Looking to the example of veteran National Network partner High Point Police Department in High Point, North Carolina, East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office' DA Hillar Moore is hoping to adopt a new approach to target chronic domestic violence offenders, expanding on the tactics already in place for the city-parish's anti-group violence initiative, BRAVE, Baton Rouge.

Tags: Baton RougeHigh Point Domestic Violence Intervention

For People of Color, Relationships With Police Are Complicated

August 2014  |  NPR  

NPR's Code Switch discusses tensions between police and communities, and means to build trust, in the aftermath of the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. David Kennedy contributes the National Network's experience with shifting and resetting these relationships.

Tags: Racial Reconciliation

Can Smarter Police Work Prevent Another Ferguson?

August 2014  |  NBC News  

The National Network for Safe Communities' approach in Salinas is being identified as an alternative to the conflict in Ferguson. "This is ultimately, a slow and deliberate process of trust building," says Salinas Police Department Chief Kelly McMillin

Tags: Salinas

Update on South Bend gang violence intervention program

August 2014  |  Fox 28 News  

Two and a half months after South Bend's first call-in, GVI coordinator Dominic Zultanski says the number of shootings in South Bend are down.  Out of the 21 men who attended May's call-in, fifteen men have accepted offers for services.

Tags: South Bend Group Violence Intervention

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