As Murders and Shootings Rise in Many Major Cities, Law Enforcement Leaders Across the U.S. Call for Federal Support & Prioritization of Violent Crime Reduction

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While national crime statistics remain historically low, violent crime—particularly homicides and shootings—is rising in many major cities. In response, the Police Foundation and the Major Cities Chiefs Association have issued a new report, assessing recent crime trends and providing the Trump Administration and Congress with more than 25 recommendations to strengthen federal-local partnerships and support local efforts to reduce violent crime.

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A New Report Provides Evidence-Based Recommendations for Strengthening Federal-Local Partnerships in Combatting Localized Violent Crime

The Police Foundation, a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization, together with the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), jointly release a report entitled, Reducing Violent Crime in American Cities: An Opportunity to Lead. The report provides more than 25 recommendations for the new Administration and Congress, to strengthen federal-local partnerships and support local efforts to reduce violent crime.

While national crime statistics remain historically low, violent crime—particularly homicides and shootings—is rising in many major cities. According to FBI data, the country’s largest cities experienced a 10% increase in homicide and non-negligent murder from 2014 to 2015, and the second largest group of cities saw a 20% surge. Data released on January 25, 2017 by MCCA suggests that these surges are remaining steady, with 61 MCCA agencies reporting a 10% increase in homicide from 2015 to 2016, and 1,400 additional non-fatal shootings over 2015, another important indicator of violent crime.

While the federal government has provided important assistance in recent years, budget and personnel reductions coupled with competing federal priorities leave some local law enforcement agencies without the fortified partnerships they need to effectively combat violent crime.

Law enforcement leaders call for a federal agenda that prioritizes violent crime from both a budgetary and policy standpoint, and that addresses problems with evidence-based solutions.

“Major cities aren’t asking for temporary surges of hundreds more federal agents or responses that take months and years to have a sustained impact. They want tools and smart resources like ballistics imaging, gun tracing, and flexible grants,” said Chief Tom Manger, President of Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA).

The recommendations in this report create an overarching strategy to address violence by prioritizing violent crime, holding federal partners accountable for local impacts, and enabling the kinds of partnerships that will create lasting solutions.

The following items form the basis of the report’s recommendations: analysis of literature on effective violence reduction strategies; in-depth analysis of federal agency programs, budgets, priorities, authorities, and performance; and, survey data and input from local law enforcement executives.

Recommendations in the report are calls for immediate Congressional and Executive Branch action. Key themes include:

  •     Establish violent crime as a national priority, and set the tone for leadership by federal law enforcement agencies, eliminating barriers to their effectiveness. 
  •     Enable evidence-based approaches to address violent crime.
  •     Require openness and sharing of data, as well as expansion of available technologies.
  •     Hold federal agencies accountable for local crime spikes and provide the resources needed to make an impact. 
  •     Enact legislation to address primary drivers of violent crime, and remove legislative restrictions that inhibit use of federal law enforcement resources to fight violent crime.

“Federal, state and local law enforcement need strong partnerships and smart, evidence-based, locally-tailored strategies to reverse trends in the number of shootings in many major cities,” said Jim Bueermann, President of the Police Foundation.

The Police Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has been at the cutting-edge of research into the most effective and efficient policing practices for more than 45 years, and provides the understanding of that research to departments and agencies across the nation.

The Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) is a professional organization of police executives representing the largest cities in the United States and Canada. The MCCA provides a unique forum for urban police, sheriffs and other law enforcement chief executives to discuss common problems, to share information and problem-solving strategies. MCCA articulates the public safety needs of large cities in the formulation of criminal justice policy.

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Jim Burch

Darrel Stephens
@PoliceFound
since: 02/2014
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