Nancy Jacobs with Heath Grant (1997). Bridgeport Youth Firearms Violence Initiative Final Evaluation Report. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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The Bridgeport Youth Firearms Initiative (YFVI), funded by the office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), was operated by the Bridgeport Police Department from 1995 to 1997. The YFVI had a dual but complementary focus on the suppression and prevention of youth gun violence. The Bridgeport Police Department was committed to institutionalizing proactive, problem-solving approaches to community policing, and to engaging key sectors of the community in prevention programming.
Strategies included the deployment of anti-gun suppression throughout “hot-spots,” researching the most serious outstanding warrants and making arrests, geo-mapping to enhance capabilities of the Crime Analysis Department, the establishment of a firearms examination laboratory and implementing a youth development curriculum for social and youth service providers. The evaluation design focused the empirical demonstration of the outcomes of these strategies.
The YFVI Project successfully achieved its goals and operational objectives. In addition to the increased presence of police officers on the streets to suppress drug and gun-related activity, increased technological and problem solving organizational capacity developed, contributing to a continued decline in firearms related calls in the targeted areas. Additionally, indications of improved police-community relations occurred during the project period evaluated.