This report describes the implementation of the Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI) in St. Louis, whose primary goal was to show the viability of the problem solving process in countering gun violence in a city with high rates of violence.
SACSI's problem solving approach to the high rates of firearms violence in the city included a spatial analysis that showed 12 of the city's 79 neighborhoods accounted for more than half of gun homicides. An analysis of the characteristics of homicide victims and offenders and their interactions indicated that most victims and offenders shared the characteristics of being young African-American males with a prior history of arrest or probation. Prior to the homicide, most had previous conflicts with one another. Thus, one focus of the designed interventions was to address "retaliation" homicides. One of 3 interventions addressed the spatial concentration of homicides by increasing both Federal and local law enforcement resources in the 12 targeted neighborhoods. The goal of this intervention was to target high-rate offenders for arrest and vertical prosecution so they would be taken off the streets. The second intervention focused on the victims of violence who came to the emergency department of the main level I trauma center in the city. This involved a partnership between medical and police personnel that included cross-training, in-house counseling with violence victims, and follow-up after medical treatment to monitor and counsel the victims in an effort to reduce retaliatory violence. The third intervention was called the Most Violent Offender program, which targeted individuals with substantial criminal records for any law violations or probation or parole violations. The SACSI implementation showed that a city with high levels of violence and limited experience in problem solving can mount interventions based on systematic analyses of homicides. 41 references and appended tables and figures and supplementary information
Date Published: January 1, 2005