Law: Reducing Juvenile Weapons Crimes – Youth Firearms Violence

Youth Firearms Violence Initiative

Youths at their adolescent stages are always associated with delinquent behaviors and this has remained a serious problem in many cities in the US. However, although the problem is risky, it can be solved, (Hemenway, 2006). Youth violence remains a complex issue, which requires the intervention of the society before the problem becomes entrenched. The Youths Firearms Violence Initiative is a programme especially designed for law enforcement agencies in order to help them to develop some strategies of dealing with the use of firearms by youths in solving of conflicts. Many strategies can be employed in the reduction of juvenile firearms crimes.

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Strategies for Prevention of Youth Firearms Violence

            The Youth Firearms Violence Initiative  was developed in 1995 and COPS provided funding to over nine police departments in the United States in order to help roll the initiative. This program developed many strategies and tactics, which included partnerships, crime prevention, community policing, civil abatement and enforcement of zero-tolerance laws, (Koper, Woods & Kubu, 2013).

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Community Policing Partnerships to Reduce Juvenile Crimes

            Premise of success of juvenile prevention relies on the fact that the police can perform effectively if they get the necessary cooperation, assistance and trust of the citizens that are affected. The main roles of the police under this strategic capacity are to make the community feel safe in addition to encouraging them to cooperate with local police agencies. Many, due to a number of reasons regard this strategy as a success.

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The community policing strategy provides direct engagements between the police and the community and thus allows the police to get information on the immediate problems facing such a community. Therefore, the police will be proactive in their engagements in crime prevention since they are free from their emergency centers. This strategy in freeing police officers from their confines allows them to be more accountable for their roles in the community, (Fagan, Hanson, Hawkins & Arthur, 2008). This program in decentralizing and allowing police officers to mingle and patrol the community makes them understand better the community.

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One such program of community policing is the Youth Firearms Violence Initiative (YFVI), which as mentioned above, is run by COPS and it major aim is to reduce gun violence among the youth. Working in over ten 9 cities in the US, COPS provided each city with 1$ million to develop Youth Firearms Violence Initiative strategies that included development of cooperation with other cities in education, prevention and other intervention programs regarding safety and use of guns among the youths.

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The other strategic focus of  Youth Firearms Violence Initiative relates to the development of programs which are community based and that are designed to address youth violence and use of guns. In additions, the community benefits from programs that assists families in addressing youth gun violence. In addition, some special departments and surveillance units were set up within the police departments in order to assist in curbing youth violence.

Conclusion

The success of Youth Firearms Violence Initiative cannot be underestimated since it has achieved notable success since its inception. Although assessment was conducted in only five of the ten cities that benefited from this initiative, it has been able to reduce youth gun crimes in Cleveland from 3149 to 2672 in just 12 months.

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