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Violent Crime Reduction Roadmap

Working Together to Build Safer Communities

Action 5. Address key locations using place-based policing and investment.

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Place-based strategies can disrupt violence and transform spaces with high concentrations of crime. Leaders should target violent micro-locations with problem-oriented, community-based policing as well as non-enforcement strategies like nuisance abatement, changing traffic patterns, improving street lighting, as well as targeted investments to improve social and economic welfare in these areas.

DOJ has resources to help jurisdictions address crime- and violence-prone micro-locations with a balanced set of strategies. Key resources are identified below, followed by links to additional resources. These same resources are also listed for Action 4, as DOJ resources are not easily divided into people- and place-based approaches.

Key Resources

Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative

The Community-Based Violence Intervention (CVI) and Prevention Initiative provides funding to support evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs. The CVIPI webpage provides access to a variety of resources for planning, implementing, supporting, and assessing community-based violence intervention and prevention efforts. CVIPI funding can support goal-setting, analysis, and planning activities.

Community Violence Intervention Implementation Checklist

Developed with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Community Violence Intervention Implementation Checklist captures background information about CVI efforts, CVI guiding principles, and details on the following specific steps to take when implementing CVI programs.

Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center

The BJA National Training and Technical Assistance Center connects justice agencies with national experts to help reduce violent and drug-related crime. A specific Violence Reduction Response Center connects localities with resources to help address the work of identifying where and among whom violence is concentrating. Jurisdictions interested in implementing strategies outlined in the Roadmap may also contact NTTAC to request TTA from the Police Executive Research Forum. In collaboration with BJA and a cadre of subject matter experts, PERF will coordinate no-cost TTA services designed to enhance jurisdictions’ capacity to reduce community gun violence and promote community trust.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Project Safe Neighborhoods is spearheaded by each U.S. Attorney’s Office, bringing together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, community leaders and other stakeholders to identify their most pressing violent crime problems and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. The PSN website includes training resources for all localities working to reduce violence, including a gun violence resource hub. Localities should connect with their United States Attorney’s Office to better understand these resources.

National Public Safety Partnership

The National Public Safety Partnership is a network of communities who are committed to implementing evidence-informed approaches to reducing violence and enhancing public safety. It is a DOJ-wide program that connects communities with peers and experts to receive coordinated training and technical assistance. There are many resources available to all jurisdictions including virtual training academies and published materials through the Clearinghouse, including numerous resources supporting the identification of individuals and locations most at-risk of violence.

Smart Policing Initiative

The Smart Policing Initiative assists police agencies with identifying innovative and evidence-based solutions to effectively and efficiently tackle chronic crime problems in their jurisdictions. The SPI website also has publicly available resources including implementation guides, toolkits, survey guides, community engagement strategies, and problem-oriented policing tactics.

Smart Prosecution: Innovative Prosecution Solutions

Smart Prosecution: Innovative Prosecution Solutions provides funding to local prosecutors to combat violent crime by refining best practices and data-driven strategies, piloting new ones, and assessing their efforts. In the area of identifying key people and places IPS funding can be used to develop Crime Strategy Units within prosecutors’ offices as well as technology to improve information sharing with their respective Police Departments.

Additional Resources

Funding Opportunities

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Program is a formula award administered to each state and territory, based on their population and violent crime. The award is divided between state (60%) and direct to local (40%) units of government. JAG funding is administered by a state agency. JAG funds are extremely flexible and can be used to support a variety of approaches to reduce community gun violence, including focused deterrence models, community support models, and analytics. Localities should contact their State Administering Agency or the National Criminal Justice Association.

Training & Technical Assistance

Project Safe Neighborhoods Training and Technical Assistance Program

BJA, in partnership with Michigan State University, the CNA Institute for Public Research, and the National Center for Victims of Crime, provides training and technical assistance in the implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods.

OJJDP National Training and Technical Assistance Center

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides TTA resources to address the needs of juvenile justice practitioners and support state and local efforts to build capacity and expand the use of evidence-based practices.

OJJDP National Gang Center

The National Gang Center contains numerous resources to support communities that are working to prevent and reduce violence. The NGC provides both direct engagement and produced guidance assist localities where those people and places most at-risk of experiencing violence are involved in group-related violence.

Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Training and Technical Assistance

This program supports data-driven, place-based, and community-oriented strategies to reduce crime, build partnerships and enhance trust. The available resources include research reports on effective uses of focused deterrence, group-based violence interventions, and community violence intervention programs.

Place-Based Policing for Small and Rural Agencies

The COPS Office Place-Based Policing for Small and Rural Agencies eLearning course, is designed for all law enforcement professionals, from leadership to frontline officers. It demonstrates place-based policing practices that reduce crime and are specifically tailored to small and rural agencies.

Guides, Reports and Webinars

BJA Violent Crime Reduction Summit Resource Center

Resources from the BJA Violent Crime Reduction Summit designed to offer insights and tools to jurisdictions in addressing violent crime that impacts their communities.

Project Safe Neighborhoods Blueprint for Success (PDF, 4.3 MB)

This BJA resource provides background information about the DOJ initiative Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), how to build a strong PSN initiative, including the use of data and evidence, key design elements, and training and technical assistance services available.  This report also identifies and describes the implementation of the various PSN features linked to its effective performance.

Paving the Way for Project Safe Neighborhoods: SACSI in 10 US Cities (PDF, 353 KB)

The Department of Justice launched the Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI) to test data-driven intervention strategies for targeted homicide, youth violence, firearm violence in 9 cities and rape and sexual assault in 1 city. The study found that the SACSI approach, when implemented effectively, is associated with reductions in targeted violent crimes, sometimes by as much as 50 percent. This report highlights the key elements that led to success of SACSI, such as leadership provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the integration of research into planning and intervention strategies, collaborative strategic planning, and implementation of various intervention strategies.

Violent Crime Reduction Operations Guide (PDF, 5.2 MB)

This BJA-sponsored, practitioner-focused guide outlines actions and activities that have contributed to successful crime-fighting strategies throughout the country. This guide complements existing conversations and offers a unique “for the field, by the field” perspective that combines best practices and research to assist law enforcement executives in assessing capacity and strategic planning.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Operation Ceasefire in Boston, MA

Operation Ceasefire is a problem-solving police strategy that started in Boston, MA and was designed to reduce gang violence, illegal gun possession, and gun violence in communities using a focused deterrence strategy. This program is rated Effective; when implemented in Boston, there were statistically significant reductions in youth homicide, citywide gun assaults, calls for service, and recovered new guns following implementation of the intervention. This program profile provides a description of the program, evaluation findings, and key implementation information.

Crime Solutions Practice Profile: Hot Spots Policing 

Hot spots policing strategies focus on small geographic areas or places, usually in urban settings, where crime is concentrated. Through hot spots policing strategies, law enforcement agencies can focus limited resources in areas where crime is most likely to occur. This practice is rated Effective for reducing overall crime and rated Promising for reducing violent, property, public order, and drug and alcohol offenses. This program profile provides a description of the practice and key evaluation findings.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)

This is a community-based program that brings police, local government agencies, and the community together to prioritize problems and prevention efforts in Chicago, Ill. The goal is to solve neighborhood crime problems, rather than react to only to their symptomatic consequences. The program is rated Promising. Police beats or geographical units that implemented the program experienced a statistically significant reduction in crime and calls to 911, compared with police beats that did not. This program profile details the description, methodology, and evaluation outcomes.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI)

A crime-focused initiative, designed to address gang-related gun homicides in selected cities. The Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI) was implemented in 12 select cities in response to increasing gang prevalence across the country. The main purpose of the CAGI was to prevent and reduce gang-related crime. The initiative involved a comprehensive model of suppression (enforcement), prevention, and reentry. The program is rated Promising; there was a significant reduction in gun homicides related to gang crime in cities that implemented the initiative.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Geographically Based Focused Deterrence Intervention (Midwest)

A geographically based focused deterrence intervention was implemented in a midwestern city, with the goal of reducing gun violence, particularly gang-related gun violence.  The dual place- and person-based components of focused deterrence strategies typically target gang networks and areas that suffer from high amounts of gang and gun violence. The target area was selected using official police data on the number of shots fired during a specific period of time. There was a statistically significant reduction in confirmed shots fired, residents’ reports of hearing gunshots, and residents’ reports of seeing gang activity. However, there was no statistically significant impact on calls for service for shots fired. The program is rated Promising.

Crime Solutions Practice Profile: Geographically Focused Policing Initiatives

Geographically focused policing initiatives increase the presence and visibility of police officers at specific high-crime locations to significantly reduce crime and disorder. When implementing geographically focused policing initiatives, the target areas may include small places (e.g., crime hot spots, problem buildings), smaller police-defined areas (e.g., beats), neighborhoods and selected stretches of roads or highways, or larger police-defined areas (e.g., precincts). This practice is rated Promising for reducing crime in treatment areas relative to control areas.

Crime Solutions Program Profile: Safe Street Teams (Boston, MA)

Safe Street Teams (SST) is a place-based, problem-oriented policing strategy implemented by the Boston (Mass.) Police Department in response to a sudden increase in violent index crimes. The SST program was designed to reduce violent crime by assigning teams of BPD officers to targeted crime hot spots around the city and requiring them to implement problem-oriented policing strategies to address specific violence-related problems at each site. The program is rated Promising; treatment street units experienced statistically significant reductions in total violent index crime, robbery, and aggravated assault, compared with control street units. 

Research in Brief – Reducing Crime by Remediating Vacant Lots: The Moderating Effect of Nearby Land Uses

This Brief summarizes a study of the effect of remediating vacant lots on crime. Researchers found that “greening” vacant lots reduced crime.

Deterring and Reducing Opportunities for Violence in Hot Spots

This webinar provides insights on how to understand and address violence connected to hot spots.

Understanding Socio-environmental and Physical Risk Factors Influencing Firearm Violence

This project studies the interaction among built-environment features, socioeconomic traits, and firearm violence, so law enforcement and planners can consider ways to prevent firearm violence.

Assessing the Effects of Hot Spots Policing Strategies on Police Legitimacy, Crime, and Collective Efficacy

This study on policing strategies compares the impact of a police collaborative problem-solving approach, directed patrol, and standard policing on hot spots and resident opinions.

Smart Policing – New Findings

This webinar describes the overarching findings and lessons learned since the inception of SPI, as it relates to the use of various Smart Policing strategies (e.g., person-based, place-based, organizational change, predictive analytics, technology) to address a variety of crime problems (gun violence, gangs, property crime, homicides, domestic violence and more).

Smart Policing - Understanding and Responding to Crime and Disorder Hot Spots POP Guide

This guide highlights hot spots policing, which is sometimes referred to as place-based policing. It is highly compatible with problem-oriented policing and the scanning, analysis, response, and assessment model. This guide uses the SARA model as a framework to discuss the process of understanding and responding to hot spots.

Innovative Community Engagement Strategies for Community-Based Crime Reduction

This webinar provides information on innovative community engagement strategies for community-based violence reduction efforts (free registration required). The webinar includes lessons learned from the Newark Community Street Team and their work to reach communities during COVID-19 conditions.

Assessing the Long-Term Impact of Focused Deterrence in New Orleans: A Documentation of Changes in Homicides and Firearm Recoveries

This research project examines the impact of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy in New Orleans.

Smart Policing – Successful Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence

This webinar focuses on the use of strategies and crime intelligence to target gun-related violence, highlighting SPI sites successfully addressing this issue through a focus on individuals at-risk of experiencing violence.

The Fight Against Rampant Gun Violence

This article by NIJ staff provides an overview of the evidence from NIJ-funded research on gun violence and prevention.

Interrupting the Cycle of Violence: Insights from the Urban Institute's Research-based practice Guidance to Reduce Youth Gun and Gang/Group Violence

This webinar summarizes the evidence on reducing youth gang and group violence and its implications for practice.


CrimeSolutions.gov is a central, reliable resource to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices. It assists in practical decision making and program implementation by gathering information on specific justice-related programs and practices and reviewing the existing evaluation and meta-analysis research against standard criteria.