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Violence Impact Project: A Multi-Governmental Strategy Against Violence

NCJ Number
Connie Kostelac; Steve Ballance; Charles M. Katz Ph.D.; Vince Webb Ph.D.
Date Published
December 2004
67 pages
This report describes the evaluation of a collaborative effort to reduce violence in Phoenix, AZ.
In 2003, the Phoenix Police Department (PPD) realized the city was poised to reach a record number of homicides in an already violent major city. As such, local, county, State, and Federal agencies collaborated on the Central City Violence Impact Project in an effort to make Phoenix the “Safest Major City” in America. The Project contains two similar yet separate violence reduction programs: the PPD’s Violence Impact Project (VIP) and the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). VIP is a local strategy to reduce violence in targeted areas, while PSN follows a national model to reduce gun-related violence. The evaluation involved a number of strategies and data, including administrative records; surveys of officers, supervisors, and external agency stakeholders; and a focus group session with community members involved with the project. Other data reviewed included calls for service, reported crimes, gun recoveries, and arrest data for the VIP area and Phoenix as a whole. Findings indicated a significant decrease in violent crime during the implementation period, which ranged from October 2003 to June 2004. Moreover, while the violent crime rate for the VIP area had declined for the 4 years prior to the program implementation, the reduction in violent crime following program implementation was significantly greater than in prior years. Violent crime in the VIP was reduced by 26.5 percent; no other precinct recorded violent crime reductions in the double digits during this period. Thus, the findings suggest that the collaborative approach to violent crime reduction in Phoenix was effective and demonstrated that problem-oriented policing within a collaborative framework can substantially impact crime rates. Recommendations for improvement are offered. Exhibits, bibliography, appendixes