"The COPS [Community Oriented Policing Services] Office has long been a strong supporter of the National Network for Safe Communities and its Group Violence Intervention (GVI). When we in law enforcement talk about addressing urban violence, the problem is so large in scope and self-reinforcing in nature that finding a solution can seem overwhelming, if not nearly impossible. The root causes of crime and disorder in our disadvantaged communities involve so many systemic dysfunctions that it becomes hard to imagine how law enforcement can begin to stem the tide of group and gang violence. The beauty of GVI, therefore, is that it has never been designed to address the myriad social problems that both create and are created by the cycle of violence in these neighborhoods. Rather, it is singularly focused on an immediate and achievable goal: the cessation of gun violence that destabilizes communities, creates fear in our citizens, and claims the lives of many of our young people of color. In this publication, we have attempted to lay out step by step the components of the GVI process so that those jurisdictions that would like to implement this strategy in their neighborhoods can do so with clear guidance and information. To be sure, this work is not easy; it requires buy-in and hands-on cooperation from stakeholders across the community and the criminal justice system. However, when properly implemented, GVI can be transformative. I am not overpromising when I say it can and does help communities take control of their streets so that law and order is restored by the neighborhood itself-a much more effective way of creating public safety than through enforcement actions alone."
National Network for Safe Communities: http://www.nnscommunities.org/