Collaborating to Reduce Violence: The Impact of Focused Deterrence in Kansas City

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Collaborating to Reduce Violence: The Impact of Focused Deterrence in Kansas City

Category: Homicide|Journal: Police Quarterly|Author: A Fox, K Novak|Year: 2018

This research examines the impact of focused deterrence on homicide and gun violence in Kansas City, MO. In 2014, a coalition of police, prosecutors, city officials, researchers, and others implemented Kansas City No Violence Alliance, a focused deterrence violence reduction strategy. Using street-level intelligence and analysis, groups involved with violence were identified and notified of the consequences for future violent incidents. Leveraging existing social services, members opting for nonviolence were offered assistance. This study evaluates the impact on violence over 3 years of implementation. Using 2009–2016 police incident data on homicide (including group member involved homicide) and gun-involved aggravated assault, time series models were estimated to determine the effects of focused deterrence during 2014–2016. Analysis indicated that focused deterrence implementation resulted in an immediate reduction in homicides and gun-involved aggravated assaults. This effect began to diminish around the 12-month postintervention point. During the third year, overall and group member involved homicide numbers returned to preimplementation levels, and gun-involved aggravated assaults exceeded those levels. After achieving significant first-year reductions, despite robust implementation and fidelity, violence returned to preimplementation levels by the third year. Limitations to the focused deterrence model and the need for continuous evaluation and innovation are discussed.

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