Associate Magazine - FBINAA - Q4 - 2022
FBINAA FBI National Academy Associates, Inc. Strategic AMBASSADOR LEVEL Alliance 2022
F B I N A A . O R G | Q 4 2 0 2 2
COMBATING GUN VIOLENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY: HOW YOU CAN IMPLEMENT SMART TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE AN IMPACT
The United States experiences far higher rates of gun violence and deaths than any other wealthy country in the world. In fact, U.S. gun violence deaths are more than 8 times more common than Canadian gun violence deaths, and more than 100 times more likely than U.K. gun violence deaths. A nd although the narrative portrays gun violence as an urban and inner city issue, the truth is much more complicated: shootings harm every corner of the United States, from cities to suburban communities to rural towns. As law enforcement officers, the public depends on us to stall these rising numbers, but the root causes of gun violence are far too complex to tackle with a single solution. Though there is not one single solution to eliminate the prob lem, there are proven and effective technologies that can help combat the harmful effects of gun violence. Technologies like Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) help law enforcement fight gun violence proactively and reactively, solve gun crimes faster, and get guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. Throughout my time as a captain at Vallejo Police Depart ment in California and my current position as Director and Chief for the Las Vegas Department of Public Safety, I’ve seen our officers experience success combating gun violence with data, technology and community relationships.
Here are several tactics to apply at your agency: USE CONTEXTUAL DATA TO UNDERSTAND WHY SHOOTINGS ARE OCCURRING IN YOUR JURISDICTION Before establishing a plan of action to combat firearm crime, it’s critical to understand the why behind the shooting events in your area. Only after proper environmental scanning and analyzing can officers truly equip themselves with the knowledge needed to intervene accordingly. For example, at Vallejo Police Department, we used social media monitoring to key in on a rise in shootings initiated by online disputes, gang activity and street racing events. Jurisdictions that pinpoint organized street crime and social media conflict as the main motivators behind gun violence often find that witnesses are unwilling to provide critical information to law enforcement out of fear of retaliation or personal connection, which can significantly impede case clearance. FOCUS ON COLLABORATION AND TRUST WITHIN YOUR COMMUNITY In an effort to reduce gun violence and increase witness cooperation, it is absolutely imperative for law enforcement agen cies to build strong relationships with their community. It is a long and dynamic process, especially in historically high-crime neighborhoods, but putting forth the effort to remain transparent, objective, and ethical pays dividends when it comes to preventing gun violence in the long run. At Vallejo PD, we saw success with a few different approaches: • We established an Operation P.E.A.C.E. initiative (Predictive Enforcement And Community Engagement) to focus on proactive community engagement and crime reduction. Even simple community improvement initiatives like installing lighting and planting trees in vacant lots can impact crime. • We invested in Flock Safety ALPR technology to remain ethical and unbiased in our policing efforts, which helped foster a collaborative community environment.
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