This research report describes the effects of an individual, NIJ-funded, local-level program designed by the Indianapolis police department to reduce firearm-related violence in Indianapolis.
This report is meant to be of value to anyone interested in adopting a strategic, data-driven, problem-solving approach to reducing gun violence and other crime and disorder problems in communities. It describes in detail the problem targeted, an increase in levels of homicide in the mid-1990s. The programs designed to address this problem included the creation of a computer comparison statistics program and application of directed patrol tactics in two problem areas. The most common directed patrol tactic is the traffic stop which can be a general deterrence strategy, with 1 out of 100 stops resulting in a felony arrest, or a targeted deterrence strategy with 3 out of 100 resulting in a felony arrest. Because it focused on two high risk locations in Indianapolis, it was possible to compare these two methods effectiveness. Both strategies reduced homicide in both districts, but the district with the targeted patrol also reduced gun crime overall. Also described are the problems confronted in designing, implementing, and evaluating the effort, and the strategies adopted in responding to any obstacles encountered. Both successes and failures are discussed, and recommendations are made for future programs. In conclusion, it is noted that the targeted patrol strategy needs to be research searched further with particular attention to the potential strain that these types of police initiatives can have on police-community relations. And appendix of additional methods and findings is included.
Date Published: November 1, 2002
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