Reducing Gun Violence: The Boston Gun Project's Operation Ceasefire   [open pdf - 498KB]

"Problem-oriented policing holds great promise for creating strong responses to crime, fear, and public safety problems. It aspires to unpack such problems and frame strategic responses using a variety of approaches. Through a process of problem identification, analysis, response, evaluation, and adjustment of the response, problem-oriented policing has been effective against an array of crime, fear, and order concerns. The Boston Gun Project was a problem-oriented policing initiative expressly aimed at taking on a serious, large-scale crime problem: homicide victimization among youths in Boston. Like many large cities in the United States, Boston experienced an epidemic of youth homicide between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Homicide among persons ages 24 and under increased by 230 percent-from 22 victims in 1987 to 73 victims in 1990-and remained high well after the peak of the epidemic. Boston experienced an average of 44 youth homicides per year between 1991 and 1995. […] The Boston Gun Project Working Group began meeting in January 1995. By the fall of that year, the Project's basic problem assessment had been completed and the elements of what is now known as the Operation Ceasefire intervention mapped out; implementation began in early 1996. The two main elements of Ceasefire were a direct law enforcement attack on illicit firearms traffickers supplying youths with guns and an attempt to generate a strong deterrent to gang violence."

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