• Impact

    Scores of American cities have implemented the National Network's strategies with powerful impact over nearly two decades. Substantial research and field experience has proven that these interventions are associated with large reductions in violence and other serious crime.


The National Network's approach has 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

Domestic abusers: Dangerous for women — and lethal for cops

April 2018  |  USA TODAY  

One local police department has spent the past six years pioneering a strategy that can help identify domestic violence abusers. High Point, N.C., had a problem. From 2004 to 2008, one-third of the city’s murders were related to intimate partner violence, well above both the state and national averages, according to former police chief Jim Fealy. So in 2009, the police department, in partnership with the National Network for Safe Communities, began to take action. Its approach tracks alleged abusers and intervenes accordingly depending upon the severity of the violence. From 2012, when the strategy was implemented, to 2014, there was just one intimate partner violence homicide in the city, compared with 17 from 2004 to 2011. Calls to police in High Point to report intimate partner violence declined by 20%, as did arrests, and the percentage of victims who were injured also dropped from 2012 to 2014.

Tags: High Point Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

Taking Aim at Gun Violence, With Personal Deterrence

April 2018  |  New York Times  

In this opinion piece for the New York Times, Tina Rosenberg highlights the NNSC's group violence prevention work across jurisdictions. 

In Pittsburgh, homicides hit a 12-year low in 2017; the mayor credited Ceasefire. Detroit’s homicide rate hit a 50-year low in 2017. Its police chief, James Craig, said in an interview that the city had started Ceasefire in two high-crime precincts in 2015 and has gradually expanded it. “I wasn’t much of a believer when I first got to Detroit,” he said. “But what we have in place now is probably one of the better-working Ceasefire models. It has had a profound impact on sustaining violent crime reduction.”

In Newburgh, statistics in a voluminous New York State report show shootings are way down (See pdf, page 1202) — from 55 victims in 2015 to 17 last year. Violent crime, especially firearm crime, has plummeted. In 2012, the year Oakland began its current version of Ceasefire, it was the third-most dangerous American city, with 126 murders. Last year it had 74. In 2017, Oakland had 277 nonfatal shootings — down from 557 in 2012.

Tags: DetroitNewburghOaklandPittsburgh Group Violence Intervention Custom NotificationsSupport and Outreach

Pittsburgh gun violence drops to 12-year low; mayor credits police anti-gang efforts

March 2018  |  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  

Through Tuesday afternoon, the city had seen 14 non-fatal shootings in 2018, Cmdr. Joseph said, compared to 31 through the same period last year — a 55 percent decrease.

He attributes the decline to the bureau’s Group Violence Intervention [GVI], a strategy that aims to reduce gang-related gun violence by targeting the city’s most violent gang members while also offering social services and support to those who agree to stop shooting.

Tags: Pittsburgh National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Case Study: Using DMI to Combat Covert Opioid Markets

March 2018  |  Police Chief Magazine  

Today’s opioid markets are different from the open-air drug markets that were subject to special attention in past DMI implementations; they are, in particular, covert rather than overt. People are not, for the most part, standing out on street corners selling opioids or operating flagrant drug houses. The role that was played by geographic location in overt markets is instead played by social networks of dealers and addicts. But, within those networks, potentially similar elements operate: supply, demand, and the need for the successful functioning of markets. In principle, as long as the structure of an opioid market can be analyzed and its key dynamics identified, the logic of market disruption might be applicable. In considering a “covert market” DMI, the two most pressing practical questions seem to be: (1) Is it possible to identify the shape of the market and, especially, the key dealers in it? and (2) Is the number of key dealers manageably small, and can we imagine a practical and potentially meaningful intervention?

Tags: Rutland Drug Market Intervention

Helfrich optimistic about York’s gun-violence initiative

February 2018  |  York Dispatch  

Helfrich said York City residents need to understand that GVI isn't a short-term program. It's how the city will be doing business from now on. "We will be wherever the violence is," Helfrich said. "We will be there with all the services we can provide — and all the enforcement we can provide. Our mission hasn't changed." 

 

Tags: York Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Focused Deterrence Strategies Save Lives

January 2018  |  Criminology & Public Policy  

An important new meta-analysis of 24 focused deterrence implementations—in particular, the National Network’s Group Violence Intervention and Drug Market Intervention—was published in Criminology & Public Policy. The systematic review, led by Professors Weisburd, Braga, and Turchan, found that focused deterrence strategies “generate noteworthy crime reduction impacts and should be part of a broader portfolio of crime reduction strategies available to policy makers and practitioners.”

In a companion paper analyzing the findings of the systematic review, Professor Robin Engel put a finer tip on their conclusion: "Focused deterrence strategies save lives." 

Tags: Drug Market InterventionGroup Violence Intervention

Authorities in Malmö: Stop shooting

January 2018  |  Sverige Radio  

"The special thing is that several government agencies work together and that they have the same message and that is: stop shooting," says Anna von Reis, Head of Department of Social Work and Social Affairs in Malmö.

Of the 200 Malmö criminal networks, they have issued those who either have a conditional sentence or are under supervision and therefore may be forced to a meeting where, among other things, the social service explains what they can assist.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

Newburgh crime rates lowest ‘in over 10 years’

January 2018  |  Times Herald-Record  

Violent crime in Newburgh continued to fall last year as the city waits for the state to determine if former Beacon police Chief Doug Solomon is eligible to lead its department, City Manager Michael Ciaravino said on Monday.

The combined number of aggravated assaults, homicides, rapes and robberies in 2017 fell by 14 percent from 2016, Ciaravino told the City Council. Part 1 crimes, which include violent crimes along with arson, burglaries, car thefts and larcenies, were down almost 15 percent, he said.

There were six homicides last year, the same as in 2016, but the overall number of people injured by gunshots dropped significantly last year, from 48 to 17, Ciaravino said.

“This was the lowest crime rates in over 10 years,” he said.

Tags: Newburgh Group Violence Intervention

Two Lessons of the Urban Crime Decline

January 2018  |  The New York Times  

Over the past few years, the discussion of crime and violence in the United States has focused on police brutality, mass incarceration and the sharp rise in violence in cities like Baltimore, St. Louis and Chicago. This is entirely appropriate: Any spike in violence should garner attention, and redressing the injustices of our criminal justice system is a matter of moral urgency.

But it is also worth reflecting on how much the level of violence has fallen in this country over the past 25 years and how widespread the benefits of that decline have been. From the 1970s through the early part of the 1990s, the murder rate in some cities in the United States rose to levels seen only in the most violent, war-torn nations of the developing world. In the years since, violent crime has decreased in almost every city, in many cases by more than 75 percent.

Tags: Support and Outreach

‘Peace Builders’ to tackle violence in Bermuda

January 2018  |  The Royal Gazette  

Training is to be given to “everyday men and women” who want to help tackle gang violence and antisocial behaviour, it was revealed yesterday.

Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, said more than 100 people had expressed an interest in the new Peace Builders programme, which will cover topics that include mental health, disaster management and what to do in a crisis.

Mr Caines said: “The aim is to deploy a cadre of citizens to support neighbourhoods, to reduce tensions in recognised hotspots and to provide a reassuring presence in the event of a crisis.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

Jacksonville death toll troubling, but officials say there is hope

January 2018  |  The Florida Times-Union  

Murders, where someone illegally takes the life of someone, are different from homicides, which can include justifiable self-defense shootings, Sheriff Mike Williams said. So his agency’s cumulative numbers were a bit lower for 2017. But each one was “a tragedy,” Williams said, as he reiterated that many stem from a small percent of the city’s population made up of gang members, entertainment groups, drug crews and that street culture. And it’s been that way for the last few years.

“We know we have a relatively small number of people that are driving a significant portion of the violence,” Williams said. “When I say driving the violence, it is not that this number of people are victimizing the community over and over. They are victimizing themselves. When I say themselves, I am talking about the community of people who buy, sell and use drugs and hang around people who do. ... That is the group victimizing themselves over and over again, which in every city drives up murder and violent crime rates.”

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention

Detroit has lowest homicide tally in 50 years

January 2018  |  The Detroit News  

In 2017, Michigan's biggest city posted its lowest tally of criminal homicides in more than a half-century: 267, Detroit Police Chief James Craig confirmed Monday. The program city leaders cite as a factor in falling crime is the expansion of Operation Ceasefire. Craig said he expects to roll out that program citywide by March. It’s currently operating on the east side and in the 6th Precinct on the west side. "We have got the most advanced system of crime intelligence that the police department has ever had," Duggan said. "They are able to pull data instantly; if a shooting happens at 2 a.m, we have the ability to pull data and have a really good idea which groups are involved and be out the next day responding."

Tags: Detroit Group Violence Intervention

New Haven marks lowest homicide number in decades in 2017

December 2017  |  New Haven Register  

With only a day left in 2017, New Haven is on pace for the lowest number of homicides in decades. The seven homicides this year — down from 13 in 2016 — would mark the fewest in New Haven since 2003, when the city had eight.
Both Campbell and Generoso credited the Police Department’s numerous collaborations with the community, and chiefly programs such as Project Longevity and daily interdepartment intelligence meetings, with helping decrease crime rates. Project Longevity combines local, state and federal resources to reduce crime.

Tags: New Haven Group Violence Intervention

York City’s shootings drop by half, GVI credited for reduction

December 2017  |  York Dispatch  

York City had less than half the shootings in 2017 than it had the year before, according to city officials, who credit the national Group Violence Intervention initiative with reducing those numbers. 

The GVI initiative, which began in York City in February after more than a half-year of planning, led to city officers, other law enforcement and GVI community partners making more than 500 contacts with city residents, according to Leitzel.

About 50 or so of those contacts ended with someone being arrested, the lieutenant said, but the vast majority of contacts were positive.

Tags: York Group Violence Intervention

Report: Connecticut’s Project Longevity Is Effective Tool Against Gun Violence

December 2017  |  Hartford Courant  

A new report from a gun policy group founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords highlights Connecticut’s Project Longevity as one of the most effective programs in the nation at combating gun violence.

The state-funded Project Longevity, which has an annual budget of $885,000, was launched in 2012 and operates in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport, three cities that account for more than 70 percent of gun homicides in Connecticut. The program targets the small segment of each city’s population that is responsible for the majority of gun crime and seeks to intervene before things turn violent.

Tags: BridgeportHartfordNew Haven Group Violence Intervention

Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence

December 2017  |  The Atlantic  

Some police departments do carefully track shootings, but most keep that data internal. In New York City, for example, police track nonfatal shootings rigorously, Aborn said, starting from when victims walk into an emergency room with a gunshot wound. “We really like to unpack shootings,” he said. “It’s almost an epidemiology approach: understanding what’s causing the disease. Without that data, it’s very hard to do that kind of analysis.”

But other cities can’t tell you how many people are shot in their own jurisdictions, said David Kennedy, the director of the National Network for Safe Communities at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. That includes many of the biggest cities in the country. When the Major Cities Chiefs Association routinely surveys its members for violent-crime data, only 40 of its 69 member agencies are usually able to provide the number of nonfatal shootings. And when The Baltimore Sun tried last year to compare lethality rates for shootings, it found that only half of the country’s 30 biggest cities even keep that data.

Tags: New York CityPhiladelphia Group Violence Intervention

House: violence ‘a public health crisis’

November 2017  |  The Royal Gazette  

Violent crime in Bermuda is a public health crisis, national security minister Wayne Caines told Parliament this morning.

Specifically addressing the impact of crime on the black community, Mr Caines noted that 35 black men had been shot and killed since 2009.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

A Better Way to Deal With Intimate Partner Violence

November 2017  |  Governing Magazine  

In this op-ed for Governing Magazine, IPVI Director Rachel Teicher explains why victims of intimate partner and domestic violence don't trust the criminal justice system, and outlines how procedural justice can improve victim perceptions of law enforcement. "This trust could provide the foundation for a new vision of public safety: safer communities that are empowered by positive, ongoing and successful cooperation with law enforcement. Increased confidence in criminal-justice practitioners improves victim participation and offender accountability, and it provides law enforcement with the resources it needs to address and ultimately reduce these violent crimes."

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

Tackling history of race and policing starts with well-informed officers

October 2017  |  The Hill  

In this op-ed for The Hill, two Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers involved with the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice explain why they feel it's important for police to understand the history of race in America (and how police departments are perceived by marginalized communities). "By addressing concrete aspects of local and national history, procedural justice training places each officer’s identity and perceptions into the context of a broader historical perspective." 

Tags: Pittsburgh National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

Why Do We Ignore Initiatives That Reduce Gun Violence?

October 2017  |  New York Times  

"While movies, television and news outlets often give the impression that entire cities and neighborhoods are filled with thugs, criminals and killers, the reality is that those responsible for a majority of shootings represent a tiny percentage of the residents of any given city. In response to this fact, effective gun violence reduction strategies adopt a highly targeted, data-based approach in which the small number of individuals most at risk for shooting (and being shot) are provided with individualized programs of support and pressure to lay down their guns. To this end, law enforcement officials, clergy members, community leaders, social service providers and mentors who have themselves escaped violent lifestyles work in partnership with one another to help these individuals turn their lives around."

Tags: ChicagoOakland Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Pastor tasked with beating gang violence

October 2017  |  The Royal Gazette  

Pastor Leroy Bean was announced yesterday as Bermuda’s gang violence reduction co-ordinator.

Mr Bean brings personal experience to the position.

He explained: “I’ve had family members killed, I’ve had family members that have been shot.”

The pastor believes that helping the public understand the mindset of those involved in antisocial behaviour is one of the biggest challenges of the post.

He said: “Understanding the mindset equips us to better deal with the problem.”

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

Here’s What Actually Reduces Gun Violence

October 2017  |  Buzzfeed  

Some of the strongest evidence on reducing gun violence comes not from controls on gun purchases, but from an approach to policing called "focused deterrence." Since rolled out in dozens of other cities, repeated studies have shown that the approach can reduce urban gun violence — typically by between 20 and 40%.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

How Not to Respond to the Rising Murder Rate

September 2017  |  The New York Times  

In an op-ed for the The New York Times, Harvard researcher Thomas Abt responds to the 2016 FBI crime data report & makes the case for a new national dialogue on crime—a dialogue informed by evidence and not by ideology. He also had more than a few things to say about why our Group Violence Intervention is best suited to reduce serious violence.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

States move to restrict domestic abusers from carrying guns

September 2017  |  Washington Post  

Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, published a study this week showing that states that require people with restraining orders to relinquish the firearms they already own have a 14 percent lower rate of intimate-partner gun-related homicides than states that don’t.

Tags: Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

New Orleans sees recent dip in murders after spike in first half of 2017

September 2017  |  The Times-Picayune  

New Orleans averaged a murder about every other day in the first six months of 2017 - startling for a city of less than 400,000 people - but the police chief said last week he was encouraged by a dip in killings that started the second half of the year. The city went without a murder for an entire week in July, and there was a 10-day stretch without a murder from late August until Cierra Green and Terry Jones were both fatally shot in a Desire-area apartment on Sept. 6.

Tags: New Orleans Group Violence Intervention

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