• Our Work

    The National Network supports cities implementing proven strategic interventions to reduce violence and improve public safety, minimize arrest and incarceration, and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities it serves.

The National Network for Safe Communities Director David Kennedy and other staff contribute regularly to the national conversation around ways to reduce violence and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and community. Our editorials and columns in major national media outlets have elevated the discourse around possibilities to mobilize strategic interventions as an alternative to arrests, incarceration, and damaging enforcement practices. 


Violence Can Be Prevented

October 2016  |  The Crime Report

Senior Policy Advisor Rachel Locke is tasked with exploring how NNSC principles can “support violence prevention in the so-called “Northern Triangle” of Central America, comprising Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala—all of which have registered some of the world’s highest homicide rates.”

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

A Word from the NNSC on Recent Events

July 2016  |  NNSC

The National Network for Safe Communities wants to take this opportunity to support our law enforcement and community partners in light of the devastating series of events in recent weeks.

Tags: Reconciliation

Chicago should be commended for police reforms, not dissed

May 2016  |  Crain's Chicago Business

Despite a recent piece framing police reforms taking place in Chicago as failures, David Kennedy makes the case that the city is doing groundbreaking work that holds great promise for communities around the United States. The work going on in Chicago is “not important because Chicago is doing it. Rather, Chicago is doing it because it is important.”

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention Custom Notifications

Police Can’t Predict the Future. Fortunately, They Don’t Have to.

October 2015  |  The Huffington Post

It is now very well understood that both violent offending and violent victimization is extraordinarily concentrated amongst a remarkably small and active number of people. In particular, members of violent street groups — gangs, drug crews, and the like — are at a hugely elevated risk for violent victimization: by a factor of 600 or more. No computer algorithm is necessary to (or, so far, can) identify members of these groups, but their own behavior is perfectly good enough: they hang out together, commit crimes together, and are victimized together.

Tags: Kansas City Group Violence Intervention Social Network Analysis

The National Network Chronicle June 2015

June 2015  |  National Network for Safe Communities

This newsletter is a forum to highlight the work of our partners and the latest and most innovative efforts within our strategies from across the country.

Tags: ChattanoogaHigh PointNew York CityPeoria Group Violence Intervention Strategic Prosecution

Black communities: overpoliced for petty crimes, ignored for major ones

April 2015  |  Los Angeles Times

Op-ed by David Kennedy on Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside.

Tags: Los Angeles Reconciliation

What you think about dangerous inner-city nieghborhoods is wrong

February 2015  |  Washington Post

Los Angeles Times reporter Jilly Leovy brings her city's most dangerous, black neighborhoods to life in her New York Times best-selling book, Ghettoside. David Kennedy reviews the book in Washington Post: “Ghettoside, if there’s any justice, will be the most important book about urban violence in a generation."

Tags: Los Angeles Group Violence Intervention Reconciliation

Getting Beyond Ferguson

November 2014  |  Huffington Post

In a Huffington Post op-ed, David Kennedy writes about how the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice will aim to catalyze the transformation needed to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities.

Tags: Drug Market InterventionGroup Violence Intervention Reconciliation

The National Network Chronicle 2014

November 2014  |  National Network for Safe Communities

This newsletter is a forum to highlight the work of our partners and the latest and most innovative efforts within our strategies from across the country.

Tags: BridgeportChicagoHempsteadNew York City Drug Market InterventionGroup Violence Intervention Custom NotificationsReconciliation

Don’t give up, Chattanooga’s anti-violence strategy will work

November 2014  |  Times Free Press

Read David Kennedy’s column about how the approach behind Chattanooga’s Violence Reduction Initiative works. “This is why Chattanooga VRI was developed. It remains the best—if still an imperfect—route to preventing violence and incarceration among those most likely to be touched by both; helping law enforcement to do their job in a way that does not harm, and instead strengthens the communities they serve; and supporting the community to step forward, stand together with law enforcement, and reset its own public safety standards,” Kennedy says. “We have yet to see a city where this has been done well and the streets have not responded—if not immediately, then sooner rather than later. Chattanooga is, and will be, no different.”

Tags: Chattanooga Group Violence Intervention

National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Announced

September 2014  |  National Network for Safe Communities

The initiative, which will be an ongoing partnership with the Justice Department, will provide training to law enforcement and communities on bias reduction and procedural fairness and will apply evidence-based strategies in five pilot sites around the country.  It will also establish a clearinghouse where information, research, and technical assistance are readily accessible for law enforcement, criminal justice practitioners and community leaders.

Tags: Drug Market InterventionGroup Violence Intervention Reconciliation

The Story Behind the Nation’s Falling Body Count

January 2014  |  Huffington Post

The numbers are in: 2013 puts America on track for its lowest murder rate in nearly 40 years. But there’s an important point the year-end media round-ups are missing: there is a method to the growing lack of madness in America’s cities. Most of the cities making headlines—Chicago, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Philadelphia, New York—are using the same basic method to stop the killing. There is something that can be done about the urban homicide that has plagued the nation for generations, these cities are doing it, and it is working.

Tags: Baton RougeChicagoNew OrleansNew York CityOaklandPhiladelphiaStockton Group Violence InterventionIndividual Gun Violence Intervention Custom NotificationsReconciliationSocial Network Analysis

Trayvon Martin

July 2013  |  SameFacts

There’s a conservative argument gaining ground around Trayvon Martin’s killing that American blacks shouldn’t be taking it so seriously because the real threat of violence against blacks is internal.  But this line of argument misses one vital point. African Americans are the only US group which routinely finds its members killed by law enforcement and those aping law enforcement for no good reason, which killings are subjected to close judicial review, upon which they are told that those killings are OK.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention Reconciliation

Another kind of gun control

May 2013  |  Los Angeles Times

Instead of doomed legislation, focus police and social services on ‘hot’ groups and places.

Tags: BostonChicagoNew OrleansNew York City Group Violence Intervention

Getting beyond stop-and-frisk

April 2013  |  New York Daily News

As the debate over stop-and-frisk reaches a critical point, something nobody expected is happening on the city streets. Homicide is down another full 25% over last year, and street stops are also down — by half. This is the result of the NYPD’s embrace of a powerful and innovative tactic — one far less understood than stop-and-frisk. Before our eyes, the nation’s largest city has taken a profound, historic step toward protecting its people for the long term.

Tags: BostonLos AngelesNew York CityOakland Group Violence Intervention Custom Notifications

After a Horrific Summer of Murder, Chicago Trying a Bold New Approach

September 2012  |  The Daily Beast

What if we’ve been looking in the wrong places all along? The Windy City is turning its focus away from “bad neighborhoods” and toward the individuals and gangs responsible for most of the violence, writes David Kennedy.

Tags: ChicagoLos AngelesNew York City Group Violence Intervention ReconciliationSocial Network Analysis

“God, It’s Got to Stop”

September 2011  |  Newsweek

I got the call from Cincinnati in the fall of 2006. The city had rioted after the killing of an unarmed black man named Timothy Thomas. He’d been stopped and arrested for trivial stuff, over and over and over; finally he ran from the cops, got shot, and the city burned. In Over-the-Rhine and other hot neighborhoods, the police drew back. Gunfire picked up. Drug dealing became hotter and even more brazen. On the next to last day of 2001, the year of the riot, the Cincinnati Enquirer published a map of gunshot victims in the city. There had been 61 homicides in the city—up from 40 the year before.

Tags: Cincinnati Group Violence Intervention Custom Notifications