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Final Assessment of the Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative in New Haven

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2003
83 pages
This report presents a final evaluation of the New Haven Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI), a program of the United States Department of Justice.
In 1998, New Haven, CT, was selected as one of five original SACSI sites. The New Haven project was called Timezup and had three main goals: (1) reduce gun possession and violence in the city; (2) reduce public fear of gun violence; and (3) institutionalize the successful aspects of Timezup once the project was completed. Timezup employed three main interventions to reduce violence: Reactive Law Enforcement, in which gun-related cases were reviewed for possible Federal charges; Proactive Law Enforcement, in which agencies' representatives met with individuals believed to be involved in gun-related crimes to monitor them for violations; and Lever Pulling Meetings, in which recently released offenders met with representatives from probation and transitional living to outline the gun-reduction initiative and urge offenders to utilize existing services to remain crime-free. The evaluation sought to measure the impact of Timezup on public safety, public fear, and law enforcement relationships and operations. Data under examination included pre- and post-project gun crime information, project leaders’ perceptions, offender assessment of the lever pulling meetings, lever pulling meeting participant outcomes, trends in the prosecution of gun cases, and citizen perceptions of crime. A variety of indicators revealed that public safety had been improved, as evidenced by decreases in violent gun crimes committed, shots fired, and guns seized. Additionally, survey research suggested that citizens’ fear of gun crime was reduced and confidence in law enforcement was increased as a result of the project. Finally, interview data showed that the Timezup project had an impact on the way agencies conducted business and that collaboration and strategic planning will continue post-Timezup. Lessons learned from the project include the importance of gaining and maintaining commitment from the highest levels in participating agencies and that large SACSI-type projects should ideally have a full-time project coordinator. Figures, references

Date Published: January 1, 2003