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Los Angeles, California Smart Policing Initiative: Reducing Gun-Related Violence Through Operation LASER

NCJ Number
Craig D. Uchida; Marc Swatt; Dave Gamero; Jeanine Lopez; Erika Salazar; Elliott King; Rhonda Maxey; Nathan Ong; Douglas Wagner; Michael D. White
Date Published
October 2012
12 pages
This issue of Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) Site Spotlight (October 2012) reviews the implementation and evaluation of the SPI model in Los Angeles, which focused on reducing gun-related violence in specific neighborhoods.
After the model was implemented, homicides declined 22.6 percent per month in a targeted neighborhood, and Part I violent crimes dropped by an average of 5.4 crimes per month. These violent-crime reductions did not occur in neighborhoods that were not targeted by the SPI strategy, suggesting that declines were related to its implementation. The SPI team applied the SARA problem-solving model (Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment). The scanning phase examined gun-related crimes by police division, using a geographic analysis of data on gun-related crimes, arrests, and calls for service over a 6-year period (2006-2011). Neighborhoods were targeted for intervention based on this analysis. The intervention strategy, called Los Angeles' Strategic Extraction and Restoration Program (Operation LASER), targeted violent repeat offenders and gang members who commit crimes in the target areas. This initiative shows the value of the SARA model as an evidence-based framework for crime control and supports the central role of crime analysis and technology in data-driven decision-makng. 3 figures