Amidst the socio-political atmosphere, the entity that swore to serve and protect the public is experiencing some of the greatest challenges – distrust from the communities and the threat of being defunded. Law enforcement organizations are continually facing the problem of gun violence, and despite the low morale and limited resources, these agencies are looking at ways to engage a skeptical citizenry to help them in their efforts and address the problem in its roots.
This session’s speakers are Kerry Yerico, Kevin Armbruster, and Matthew Thomas. Kerry is currently the Senior Program Manager with the National Police Foundation, Project Director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Resource and Technical Assistance Center for Improving Law Enforcement Investigations (NRTAC) and the National Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) Initiative. Kevin is working with the Bureau of Justice Assistance as a contractor through the National Police Foundation and served in the Criminal Investigation Bureau of the ATF Task Force and the Minneapolis PD’s NIBIN Program. Meanwhile, Matthew is affiliated with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department currently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division and is coordinating the Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership.
Points they tackled in this session are on:
- Feedback Loop: Why it is a critical step in gun violence investigation best practices and the types and sources of feedback to elicit.
- Examples of gun violence reduction strategies that leveraged technology to foster transparency, employed innovative solutions to curb violence and stimulate community cooperation, and encouraged citizens to work alongside law enforcement in solving local crimes.
- Engagement and outreach: Distinguishing between the two and what can be achieved by implementing these as a law enforcement approach.
- A look into how Shots Fired and 911 Campaigns can be used to demonstrate to the residents their importance in the grand scheme of ending violence within their communities.
- Employing civilian community members and leaders as liaisons to aid law enforcement efforts while building trust within the community.
- Avenues to elicit feedback through community meetings and online presence.
- Indianapolis Metropolitan PD’s external engagement efforts to counter gun crimes through the Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership (IVRP)
- The regular IVRP Information Sharing Meeting which allows different stakeholders to work together on how to best solve violence within the jurisdiction.
- The IVRP’s best practices which espouse accountability, adaptability, and collaboration through the Information Sharing Meeting and their Gun Violence Review Newsletter.
- The metrics for success that the IVRP Information Sharing Meeting set to gauge the effectiveness of their efforts within the confines of the meeting and how it translates into the streets.
- The aid that social service providers deliver through referrals and problem-solving tools.
- Social media engagement that provides their community with the unadulterated story free from misinformation from other sources which prompts trust-building.
- Community engagement that goes beyond vague concepts and provides quality information that community members can understand.
- Providing specific and accurate data that is observable and actionable in real-life.
Questions from the audience were about:
- How community distrust in law enforcement drives them to be uncooperative.
- Details on the Camden Mr. Softee Truck strategy.
- Measuring community trust and awareness.
- Possible funding sources to acquire the technology needed for a comprehensive gun violence strategy.
- Including public defenders in engagement.
- Advocates that cater to different beliefs.
- National trends on gun crimes.
- Public perception on law enforcement responsiveness to shots fired calls.
Resources and Handouts
- “I learned valuable information about how to respond to the community after a shooting or homicide.” — Alethea
- “All of the information learned today was valuable. Looking forward to the upcoming trainings.” — Arnitra
- “As a Victim Advocate, I appreciated that there was an emphasis placed on establishing good communications and partnerships. I think reaching out to neighborhood-based non-profits is a great idea too.” — Celena
- “Great webinar! Thank you for the examples, information, and for the downloadable content.” — Luke
- “Hearing things from another perspective, even though I lived it all my life, it’s important to hear what other think could be helpful who are looking through another lens.” — Elaine
- “I live near Cincinnati and partner with our CPD for various events. It’s always good to hear what other cities are doing that impacts their communities positively. I especially liked the in-person contacts after an incident. CPD has a phenomenal social worker and program for survivor families that need more funding, The Mr. Softee Truck is something to think about…so simple but so engaging in a human to human way.” Thanks so much, Jill
- “If I could rate this webinar a 20 out of 10, I would. This is one of the most beneficial webinars I have participated in in recent memory. My jurisdiction is employing many of the strategies mentioned and is actively monitoring and pursuing best practice recommendations, but this webinar comprehensively addressed this topic specifically from a law enforcement practitioner perspective. Thank you so much for providing this information and these example programs. I will be sharing this recording.” — Linzee
- “I loved that they discussed advocates’ roles in the hand-off of cases from investigation through charges by the DA’s office. This transition is SO important and can be the reason that victims appear for trial months and years down the line.” — Stephanie