An overview of proactive police strategies with a focus on CeaseFire and Project Safe Neighborhoods.
Police proactivity is the only modality with a research base (based on multiple programs) indicating that it reduces crime and violence.
I often write that proactive police programs are among the few modalities that reduce violence. I have a student asking for an example. There are many based on an evaluation of multiple studies of proactive policing. I decided to focus on CeaseFire.
The program described below is from CrimeSolutions.Gov, the clearinghouse focusing on the effectiveness of crime reduction programs from the Office of Justice Programs of the US Department of Justice. It addresses the CeaseFire program in Oakland, CA.
CeaseFire focuses on two principles: 1. stop the violence or law enforcement will target you for enhanced supervision and prosecution and 2. if you comply, we and allied agencies will assist you with social services and training-employment.
There are broad similarities with another highly-rated program, Project Safe Neighborhoods.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, community leaders, and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. PSN is coordinated by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the 94 federal judicial districts throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories.
Cease Fire is rated as “effective” by CrimeSolutioins.Gov.
Per Wikipedia: Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, Boston, like many cities in the United States, experienced an epidemic of youth gun homicides. Violence was particularly concentrated in poor inner-city neighborhoods. Youth homicide (ages 24 and under) in Boston increased 230% – from 22 victims in 1987 to 73 in 1990.
Between 1991 and 1995, Boston averaged about 44 youth homicides a year. Operation Ceasefire entailed a problem-oriented policing approach and focused on specific places that were crime hot spots. The focus was placed on two elements of the gun violence problem: illicit gun trafficking and gang violence.
I participated in two CeaseFire programs. From that experience, the emphasis seemed to be 80 percent enforcement and 20 percent social services.
Traditionally, law enforcement responds to calls and provides routine patrols. Generally speaking, anything beyond those two initiatives falls under the general description of proactive policing.
The only effort that indicates reductions in crime are proactive police strategies via the US Department of Justice and the National Academies of Sciences. Proactivity means that officers will take their own initiative to approach someone when they have the legal right to question or search. Proactive policing embraces a variety of tactics. But proactivity has major challenges.
Riots and demonstrations costing well over two billion dollars in insurance claims set off a chain reaction of dramatically increased violent crime and fear of crime, an explosion in firearm and security sales, and people fleeing cities. Businesses are closing or reducing their hours. Economic development in troubled areas is dead.
Most of the protests focused on events germane to proactive police tactics or the use of force. As I write this, there are threats of violent protests if the new mayor of New York reimplements a revised gun task force.
CeaseFire and Project Safe Neighborhoods and two examples of proactive policing. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a recommended program of the US Department of Justice as of May 2021 under the heading of A Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime.
CeaseFire in Oakland, California-Rated Effective
Program Goals/Target Population Summary
In 2012, the homicide rate in Oakland, Calif. was almost seven times that of the national homicide rate. As a result, the City of Oakland engaged the California Partnership for Safe Communities (CPSC) to help design an intervention (the Ceasefire intervention) that could help reduce serious gun violence. The Ceasefire intervention uses focused-deterrence group violence reduction strategies (GVRS) to reduce or control gun violence.
Problem analysis research showed that gang members were involved in nearly two thirds of gun homicides in Oakland between 2012 and 2013; therefore, the Ceasefire group violence reduction strategies intervention focused on gun violence related to gang members in the city.
Ceasefire uses the key elements of the group violence reduction strategies which include trying to change offender behavior by understanding the underlying crime-producing dynamics and conditions that contribute to recurring crime problems, and implementing a blended strategy that involves law enforcement, community mobilization, and social service actions.
The CPSC partnered with the Oakland Police Department (OPD) to understand the underlying nature of gun violence in the city. A gang audit was used to identify specific gangs (including their rivalries and alliances with other gangs), and social network analysis was used to target gangs and determine the potential diffusion of the deterrence message to socially connected gangs.
The OPD leads an interagency Ceasefire enforcement group consisting of federal law enforcement agencies and state and county criminal justice agencies.
The broader Oakland Ceasefire Partnership includes the mayor’s office, social service agencies led by the human services department, and community-based leaders and organizations. Enforcement actions are coordinated through OPD Ceasefire units, which consist of five centralized units of eight officers each and a gang investigations unit.
When the Ceasefire group violence reduction strategies is implemented (in response to serious gun violence from specific gangs), the OPD develops special enforcement strategies tailored to the vulnerabilities of the targeted gangs.
The Ceasefire partnership communicates directly and repeatedly with the targeted gangs to 1) inform them that shootings will no longer be tolerated, and continued gun violence will receive special enforcement attention; 2) describe the kinds of increased enforcement and sanctions that will be focused on them; and 3) offer services and opportunities to gang members who want to stop their violent behavior.
Braga and colleagues (2019) found that the Oakland Ceasefire group violence reduction strategies (GVRS) intervention was associated with a 20 percent decline in yearly total shootings in the matched intervention block groups, compared with the matched comparison block groups. This difference was statistically significant.
Quarterly Total Gang-Involved Shootings
The Ceasefire GVRS intervention was associated with a 26 percent decline in quarterly total gang-involved shootings in the directly treated gangs, compared with the matched comparison gangs. This difference was statistically significant.
Quarterly Suspected Gang-Involved Shootings
The Ceasefire GVRS intervention was associated with a 30 percent decline in quarterly suspected gang-involved shootings in the directly treated gangs, compared with the matched comparison gangs. This difference was statistically significant.
Total Gang Shooting Victimizations
The Ceasefire GVRS intervention was associated with a 23 percent decline in quarterly shooting victimizations in the directly treated gangs, compared with the matched comparison gangs. This difference was statistically significant
More information can be found on the program’s website: https://www.
Document Source: Office Of Justice Programs
Police proactivity exists under a variety of names and tactics with CeaseFire being one example.
Proactively was greatly reduced after the recent protests regarding police use of force. Arrests and correctional numbers plummeted. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thousands of officers are leaving the job. Recruitment is down dramatically. Many cities don’t have enough police officers to respond to 911 calls.
Now, we have mayors begging cops to return to proactivity. We have skyrocketing violence, record fear of crime, gun and security sales increased dramatically, businesses are leaving impacted areas and people are exiting cities. It’s the African American community suffering the most.
Until other modalities prove themselves effective, community support and proactive policing are necessary for safe communities. CeaseFire and related programs have proven themselves to be successful in reducing violence.
Re-Fund the Police”: Law Enforcement Today launches nationwide campaign for Americans to back the blue
Originally published October 10, 2021
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – You back the Blue. You support the police. You quietly buy an officer a cup of coffee at your local coffeehouse. You bring homemade cookies to your local police station. You make it a point to thank an officer when you see one out in public.
You watch the news, aghast to see crowds of anti-police protesters and rioters committing acts of violence and massive property damage. You pray daily for the Blue family.
And yet, you may feel quite alone.
Politicians and the mainstream news media would have you think that police support is at an all-time low.
Some of you may have found it necessary to take down your Thin Blue Line flags from your house, or to scrape off the Thin Blue Line sticker from your vehicles, due to the potential for violent retaliation by those who hate the police.
Yes, it is the loudest voices that are the ugliest. They revile and attack those who back the Blue. They call, “Defund the Police!” at every turn, fueled by the lie that police officers are racists who are out to kill.
But you are actually in excellent company in your support of the blue family.
According to a Gallup poll, 85% of Americans support law enforcement. That means supporters of the Thin Blue Line are 285 million strong.
That would be 285 million who, like you, refuse join in the calls to defund the police.
And that means you are in the company of those who have logic and reason on their side.
Homicide rates since defunding are up 58% in Atlanta, up 533% in Portland, and up 37% in Philadelphia.
Shootings in post-defunded New York City are up 64%, and they are up 51% in Los Angeles and up 18% in Chicago.
In addition, you have also followed our disturbing and often tragic stories of attacks on police officers in the era of police defunding.
Felonious attacks on police are on the rise, as documented by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Data Collection.
According to LEOKA:
“The 50 law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the first 8 months of 2021 represent a 51.5 percent increase compared to the 33 officers killed during the same period in 2020.”
Also thanks to defunding, police departments across the country now lack training, resources, and equipment. Ironically, calls for additional training in cultural awareness, de-escalation, and use of force often have to go unheeded due to the lack of financial resources.
Another irony is that the push to do away with less-lethal options such as Tasers and tear gas will simply lead to more fatal police shootings.
These alarming stories and statistics indicate beyond a doubt that defunding the police is absolutely the wrong move for this great country. You know this, yet you and 285 million other voices are all too often silenced by social pressures as well as physical threats of violence.
You are even told, “Silence is violence,” when it comes to refusing to stand against law enforcement.
Your voice matters, and you need to be heard.
As Law Enforcement Today National Spokesman Kyle Reyes points out:
“Americans have stood by in disbelief as this ‘defund the police’ movement has spread across America and ravaged our communities.
“We’ve watched our cities burn, our officers be attacked and violence skyrocket.
“It’s time to come out of the twilight zone. It’s time to fight back.”
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Law Enforcement Today, the nation’s largest police-owned media outlet, has developed a way to make your voice heard and oppose those who would seek to remove funding from those who protect and serve.
It’s called the “Re-Fund the Police” campaign.
“We wanted to make the “Re-fund the Police” campaign something that everyone- whether you can spare $1 or $1 million – can be a part of.
“People will donate to politicians all day long in hopes that person will get elected and possibly make a difference.
“We are asking for people to come forward and support those who make a difference and save lives every single day.”
Through your generous donations, Law Enforcement today will direct a media and advertising blitz to rally other Americans who, like you, are done with attacks on law enforcement, both physical and financial.
Here’s what the funds go towards:
- We’ve assembled a “strike team” of researchers and reporters who will delve deeply into the devastating impact that defunding the police has on communities and families. They’re going after not just the “leaders” in Congress who are pushing to defund the police… but they’re exposing everyone from the local politicians and city councils who are behind it. They’re also tracing the money of exactly who is funding this “defund the police” movement.
- We will focus on publicizing all the negative effects of defunding police while expressing support for our brothers and sisters in blue. The advertising blitz will be a show of support for police officers all across America.
In addition, we will be sending a team of reporters into our communities to share positive stories of law enforcement, stories which are consistently ignored by the mainstream media.
As a thank-you for your generosity in standing strong for the blue family, we are offering access codes for Law Enforcement Today’s Wounded Officer documentary and Border Crisis documentary. In addition, we offer additional perks such as stickers and Thin Blue Line face masks or yard signs.
Donors are also able to honor or memorialize a member of the blue family.
For those who cannot afford to contribute, we invite you to be a part of a nationwide chain of prayer warriors.
You can join our prayer chain along with other supporters who are willing to pray for our brothers and sisters in blue.
Also, when you sign up for our newsletter, we will keep you informed on how we are continuing to back the Blue, and bring you the stories the mainstream media will not touch.
Now to small businesses who are sick and tired of watching our cities burn as the “defund the police” movement spreads.
For business donors, we are pleased to offer a unique opportunity to make a difference in police departments across the country.
“We wanted to make sure small businesses could get in the fight, so we are rolling out the ‘adopt a police department’ program.”
Your business donation will be used to cover stories in the community of your choice, and expose those who are attempting to defund the police. Those stories, if you choose, will also include a thank you to your business and a link back to your business website.
In addition, your generous business donation will go toward advertising campaigns that highlight the negative effects of demonizing and defunding the police.
This will give you the opportunity to show to millions of Americans that, unlike “woke” anti-police organizations, you support and appreciate law enforcement.
Reyes points out:
“Corporate America rallied around the Black Lives Matter movement, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to a campaign that brought widespread looting and destruction in our cities.
“This is an opportunity for businesses to show America that law and order and keeping people safe still means something to them.”
Please join your voice with Law Enforcement Today in this campaign to support all those who protect and serve us.
We invite you to visit the Re-Fund the Police website for further information.
If you have questions, or you want to start your own fundraising team, feel free to email us at [email protected]
It’s time to get in the fight.
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