Empowering community organizations to become co-producers of public safety: Developing a gun violence crime reduction strategy in the city of Newark

This study seeks to develop a Data-Informed Community Engagement (DICE) strategy to mitigate the risk of gun violence in the city of Newark. Gun violence incidents have increased by 17% between 2020 and 2021, with an increase of over 25% in shootings (hit and no hit). The spike in gun violence has disproportionately affected the South and West Ward of Newark. Currently, the Newark Public Safety Collaborative (NPSC) is partnering with organizations like the Newark Community Street Team (NCST), Brick City Peace Collective (BCPC), and the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recover (OVPTR), among other community organizations serving these geographic areas. This study aims to develop one or more DICE strategies to identify places that attract and/or generate these criminal behaviors, engage community-based organizations (CBOs) in a collaborative effort to unveil the risk narratives explaining why these locations are disproportionately affected by gun violence, and provide community organizations with data and analytics to assist their efforts in reducing the risk of gun violence in their communities.
The Newark Public Safety Collaborative (NPSC), through its strategic partnership with the Newark Police Division (NPD) and other community-based organizations (CBOs), will collect and analyze secondary data for gun violence incidents within the geographic boundaries of the city of Newark. The NPD COMSTAT unit, Newark’s law enforcement crime analysis unit, will provide NPSC analysts with real-time access to incident-level crime data for most violent crime incidents, including domestic violence and interpersonal violence (IPV) incident reports. The NPSC will then review, geocode, analyze gun violence data, and develop a DICE strategy with its community partners.

Project Status
In progress

Principal Investigator (PI): Alejandro Gimenez Santana, PhD, NPSC Director (Rutgers-Newark SCJ)