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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Data mining: A novel approach to reducing gun violence

Colleen McCue, PhD, Center for the Study and Prevention of Youth Violence, Virginia Commonwealth University, 304 West Cary Street, P O Box 842008, Richmond, VA 23284-2008, 804-283-0026, mccuecm@aol.com

New Year’s Eve traditionally is associated with increased random gunfire in many communities. In an effort to address this issue in Richmond, Virginia, the Richmond Police Department developed a targeted deployment strategy focused on reducing the amount of random gunfire during New Year’s Eve. This proactive strategy was developed using data mining techniques as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence. Areas previously associated with increased complaints for random gunfire were identified, and additional police personnel were deployed in these areas. The results demonstrated a 49% reduction in random gunfire complaints on New Year’s Eve, when compared to the previous year, and a 26% reduction in random gunfire complaints during the two day New Year’s Eve/ New Year’s Day period. Moreover, 45 weapons were recovered during the initiative, as compared to 13 weapons recovered during the same time period the previous year. Six of the weapons recovered during the initiative were assault rifles, while only one of the weapons recovered during the previous year was an assault rifle. These results support using data mining-based deployment strategies for reducing gun violence. This strategy also required fewer personnel resources than originally planned, indicating that it is possible to do more with less by using data mining in strategic planning. Ultimately, reducing the amount of illegal firearms and random gunfire in a community can set the stage for additional violence prevention efforts by attenuating the climate of fear that pervades many of our neighborhoods.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Firearms, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Firearm Policy and Injury Prevention

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA