Whether it’s Pew or Gallup, there are reports of anywhere from 270 to 310 million guns in the US. And with the recent massacre in Las Vegas, the worst shooting in US history, gun ownership and gun access have become main topics of conversation again. As they should.
When it comes to gun violence, Chicago bears the brunt of it. Every Monday, the Windy City’s weekend violence stats are national news and it’s not fair. Is violent crime out of control in Chicago? You could say ‘yes.’ But, where is the mention of the 17 other cities, such as New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis and Baltimore that have a higher per capita homicide rate or the 10 other cities that have higher per capita non-fatal shootings? Chicago’s raw numbers do make it number 1 in the country for violence but I feel the city is getting a raw deal.
The violence in this country is disturbing. Having worked as a police officer and ultimately as a homicide investigator from the 1980s until the 2000s, I was constantly dismayed at the senseless loss of life. In my opinion, New York City has done a remarkable job of not only keeping violence under “control”, but continuously driving the violent crime statistics to incredible lows. So, what can these other cities do?
The Centers for Disease Control reports that seven teens/children die every day from gun violence. That is seven too many, every day. Something, many things actually need to be done in order to save innocent lives. And, it starts when you have the right strategies and tools at your disposal.
Cities need better strategies to support the men and women who attempt to prevent and ultimately investigate violent crimes. At the recent International Association of Crime Analysts annual conference, keynote speaker NYPD Chief Dermot Shea spoke about “precision policing,” a concept which focuses on the small amount of people responsible for the disproportionately high amount of crime. Chief Shea also spoke of targeting organized narcotics gangs and violent serial offenders, and how in those investigations you shouldn’t leave any stone unturned. That includes the highly valuable practice of connecting gun crimes based on forensic evidence left behind in the form of ballistic evidence. He begged the attendees to not “kick shell casings down the sewer.” Connect the shots!
And for tools, as I have mentioned in my previous blogs, technology is the necessary complement to smart people and processes. Staying vigilant is important when keeping communities safe. And to do so, agencies need access to tools, such as license plate recognition, facial recognition, and ballistics image analysis, to help them be efficient and thorough in their investigations.
Learn more or request a demo about BallisticSearch™ here.