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Reducing Gun Violence: Operation Ceasefire in Los Angeles

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2005
32 pages
One of six reports on local programs designed to reduce gun violence, this report profiles Operation Ceasefire in Los Angeles, including the problem targeted; the program designed to address it; the problems faced in designing, implementing, and evaluating it; and the strategies adopted in addressing obstacles encountered.
Operation Ceasefire was developed in response to gang-related gun violence in the Hollenbeck area of Los Angeles. Planned by 19 public and private agencies working with researchers, this initiative was intended to send gang members the message that there would be consequences for all members of a gang if any one member committed a crime that involved guns. The working group, which began meeting in early 1999, examined trouble spots to find a location where an intervention would have an impact. It selected the Hollenbeck section of the city because of its high crime rate, particularly violent crime. In the community's view, gangs were at the core of homicides and gun violence, and the researchers' confirmed this. An array of enforcement agencies were involved in a coordinated strategy that included stepped up police patrol in five reporting districts; mounted police patrols in the parks and adjacent public housing developments; the County Housing Authority police patrolling in a housing complex that was a hotbed for gang activity; and police and probation officers visiting the homes of several well-known gang members, arresting three who had outstanding warrants or probation violations. Other enforcement levers included inspection by health and child welfare agencies at properties where gang members congregated. The intervention seemed to be most effective during the suppression phase, with the effect declining slightly in the deterrence phase; however, because the decline continued into the deterrence phase, the possibility of a longer term effect cannot be ruled out. 8 notes

Date Published: February 1, 2005