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Blue Courage

Blue Courage is a national in-serve police training program designed to improve the mental and emotional health of police officers. One key to the training is convincing officers to use breathing techniques and meditation to regulate their mental and emotional state. Overall, a ‘guardianship mentality’ is taught via seven principles in the Blue Courage program: Police Culture, Nobility, Respect, Practical Wisdom, Positive Psychology, Health and Wellness, and Resilience. CPSI is analyzing what makes the program likeliest to be successful. The researcher’s data allows him to capture fidelity to the model, the “star teacher” effect of master trainers, and to investigate the specific processes that bear to each principle. That is, the data investigation will involve not only whether the model is being replicated correctly or how, but if its components have design strengths across sites.

Body Worn Camera Technical Assistance/Investigation

This project is assessing the views of prosecutors, public defenders, and other criminal justice actors as it relates to BWC video footage. The assessment will be done in collaboration with JSS and the deputy district attorney in San Diego County. The project timeframe is June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Three sites have been selected for this engagement: prosecutor and public defender offices in Monroe County, New York, Austin, Texas and Escondido, California. The project includes an online survey of the staff of these offices, in-person interviews with prosecutors and public defenders, and the collection of data pertinent to arrests and prosecutions that involve video footage.

Case Clearance

The objective of this project is to study the elements of a non-fatal shooting investigation that are associated with a successful arrest. Types of clearance include Administrative Clearance, Exceptional Clearance, Field, and Cleared by Arrest. In order to ensure public safety, it is important for police departments to clear shooting investigations by arresting the suspect responsible, thereby deterring future activity. The arrest of a suspect is counted as cleared within the clearance rate of a police department, and is listed within the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) published annually by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Clearance rates are a manner through which a police agency’s effectiveness may be judged; however cases may also be cleared by exceptional or administrative clearance, in which no suspect is arrested. Exceptional clearance is counted the same as an arrest within the UCR (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2004) and may inflate the overall clearance rate.

Community Engagement to Reduce Violence (CERV)

Dispute-involved gun victimization is traumatic, costly, measurable, predictable--and avoidable. The grant request for $194,540.62 for Community Engagement to Reduce Victimization (CERV) will support engaging community partners with victims of gun violence to resolve underlying disputes with tailored approaches predicted to decrease retaliatory victimization. Retaliatory violence is a serious problem in Rochester, NY. 60% of shootings that occurred in the City between 2010 and 2013 were linked to retaliatory disputes. Existing efforts to address the problem have been in isolation of one another and have failed to adequately leverage community resources to develop a comprehensive, community-based, public-health informed response.

CERV will strengthen safety-net providers in the region, reaching more people by linking previously isolated systems together before new violent events unfold and further victimizations occur. The health care system will connect victims of violent gun trauma to CERV. The Center for Public Safety Initiatives will provide expertise to inform whether the victimization is centered on a dispute. A system of safety net providers will engage and triage appropriate cases with interventions to reduce subsequent gun victimization. The objective of CERV is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the health system in a measurable way by reducing gun violence and trauma victimization; and strive to help safety net providers reach and intervene with gun victims before new victimization events unfold.

Community Views

With a goal to provide the Monroe County GIVE partnership with information on community attitudes and concrete recommendations for strengthening police/community relations, the Procedural Justice research grant will conduct focus groups in the community, led by an independent contractor with support from two student researchers and under the direction of the principle Investigator to conduct at least one focus group per month but ideally two per month, collect data on community views of police, present results, and provide the Gun Involved Violence Elimination partnership with recommendations for strengthening police/community relations and report findings to DCJS and the community.

Effect of a Warrant

The Center for Public Safety Initiatives (CPSI) is studying individuals with warrants through a criminological and social welfare lenses. Bench warrants are issued for failure to appear or pay fines, but it is unknown if this is due to inability to pay or other issues. Traffic violations, which carry no jail time, are the most common original offense for bench warrants. The most frequent result of a bench warrant is an arrest and jail stay, which is disruptive to lives. Bench warrants may actually increase harm, as they place multiple civic limitations on individuals, such as driver’s license suspension and social service eligibility. The purpose of this study is to provide a description and explanation of living with low-level fugitive status, defined as having a bench warrant. Individuals with bench warrants, trusted friends of these individuals, and criminal justice experts will be interviewed on a wide-range of topics. Interviews will be synthesized into a report that describes the process of becoming a low-level fugitive, adjustment strategies, and managing this status. Actionable policy and practice steps to resolve problems associated with active warrants will be developed. The findings will help to improve criminal justice system processing, legal policy, and practice, while improving and stabilizing conditions for individuals with warrants.

Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) Staffing (Community Engagement and Crime Analysis)

The Center for Public Safety Initiatives (CPSI) provides support personnel for the Monroe Gun- Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) Initiative, including a dedicated Crime Analyst and Community Engagement Specialist These positions are housed in the Monroe Crime Analysis Center, located at the City of Rochester’s Public Safety Building and jointly supervised by the Rochester Police Department (RPD) and the Consultant. The crime analyst’s activities include developing targeted firearm offender and firearm hotspot programs; coordinating all targeted offender and hotspot based research, planning, and activity between the GIVE partner agencies; as well as creating and maintaining a criteria-based method for identifying high-risk firearm violence offenders, along with other tasks. The Community Engagement Specialist is developing a local communications strategy for firearm violence prevention, promoting GIVE internally and externally though presentations, literature, new media, and strategic marketing, and other activities.

Homeless Gap Analysis

Homeless Gap Analysis is a tool to enable the Rochester community to identify and inventory existing resources, define what resources we ideally need to effectively respond to homelessness, and describe the gap between the actual and potential response to homelessness here. The community can then prioritize those gaps to create a robust homelessness response system in Rochester, NY. By surveying service providers and homeless individuals, we learned the unmet needs in Monroe County include: a lack of emergency shelter beds, a lack of shared responsibility to provide hospitality beds (overnight stays that are not cost-reimbursed by the County); difficulty placing homeless individuals who have been previously imprisoned; difficulty placing homeless individuals who are sex offenders; the common presence of numerous prerequisites that must be met prior to obtaining permanent housing; inadequate staffing in shelters; differing definitions of homelessness between HUD and local service providers, and other gaps.

Ibero-Project CLEAN

Ibero American Action League was awarded the BYRNE grant in November 2017, under CBCR, or innovations in Community Based Crime Reduction for Project CLEAN. The RIT

Center for Public Safety Initiatives (CPSI) is the sub-awardee Research Partner. Project CLEAN (Community, Law Enforcement, and Assistance Network) target area (TA) is in the El Camino Revitalization Area, in Rochester NY, in many ways a wonderful neighborhood with incredible assets, most notably its people, but which is primarily known today for its socioeconomic and crime problems. This project will develop a partnership for the planning and implementation of coordinated strategies to “CLEAN” the North Clinton Avenue neighborhood of its heroin challenge, improve safety and reduce crime, increase connections to services for those who are heroin addicted, and support City and neighborhood revitalization efforts that will allow residents and businesses to reclaim this vital business district.


R.I.T. Center for Public Safety Initiatives, the Project CLEAN Research Partner, will create a baseline assessment of challenge in area; lead Cross-Sector partners in identification, review, and selection of appropriate evidence-based solutions; develop strong outcomes measures; lead participatory research and observations; evaluate effectiveness of strategies; disseminate findings in an ongoing manner to ensure informed decision making and resource allocation. For this particular project, our work plan will assure that analysis plays a leading role in understanding the problem, developing strategies to address it, and evaluating the program impacts. CPSI is committed to the mission and success of Project CLEAN, and will work together to guide the planning and implementation to achieve its strategic objectives.

Monroe County Crime Analysis Center

The Center for Public Safety Initiatives (CPSI) at RIT is tasked with managing Monroe Crime Analysis Center (MCAC). CPSI will continue to manage this analysis center for years 2017-2018. MCAC is accountable for all Part I crime categories and intelligence within the designated Police Service Areas (PSAs). The analysts will be responsible daily for maintenance of related data, the identification of crime patterns/trends and dissemination of intelligence products. Additionally, the analysts will work closely with the quad Captains and Investigative Coordinators to supplement problem based action plans and response tactics.

Niagara Falls PSN (Project Safe Neighborhood)

The purpose of the Niagara Falls Project Safe Neighborhoods is to reduce gun crime and gang violence by implementing a strategy that focuses on dispute-related violence. This strategy will be evidence based, research driven, intelligence-led, and involve a strategic problem solving approach to reducing firearm crimes and gang violence. Led by the Niagara Falls Police Department, the Niagara Falls PSN team will utilize enforcement, deterrence, and community outreach/engagement strategies to intervene in ongoing retaliatory disputes and prevent subsequent violence. The objective of the Niagara Falls PSN are to (1) Establish and expand evidence- based programming in Niagara Falls that enables the PSN team to effectively and sustainably prevent and respond to gun crime and gang violence; (2) Establish a sustainable research partnership with RIT’s Center for Public Safety Initiatives that is integrated into the strategic and tactical operations of the PSN team and community agencies; (3) Foster effective and consistent collaborations among law enforcement partners in Niagara Falls, external agencies such Niagara University, and the communities in which they serve that increase public safety and minimize gun crime and gang violence; (4) Create and maintain coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, with an emphasis on prevention, and tactical intelligence gathering.

North Country Crime Analysis Center

The Center for Public Safety Initiatives (CPSI) at RIT is tasked with managing current staff at the Northern Country Crime Analysis Center located in Malone, New York. CPSI will continue to manage this analysis center for years 2017-2018. CPSI will help implement evidence based policing strategies and assist in creating its connection with law enforcement agencies in the local area. The primary function of this center is to analyze crime within the area, and to provide this information to local law enforcement to assist in selecting more effective tactics and formulating strategies to significantly reduce crime, with an emphasis on violent crime and gun related crime. The Center is staffed with a team of crime analysts and sworn law enforcement members who support area law enforcement agencies in their efforts to track and reduce Part I Crime.

Offenders Supervised by Probation Project

The project involves review, research, and analysis of case files and other material on site at the Federal building in Rochester NY, and is intended to enhance understanding of certain offenders managed by the U.S. Western Federal Probation (WDNY) to allow for informed policy and training decisions.

Project T.I.P.S. (Trust, Information, Programs, Services)

TIPS is a community outreach program supported by the Rochester Police Department that aims to give residents the opportunity to voice their concerns about their community. RIT provides the community survey for the TIPS events. The survey includes questions regarding what residents like about the community, community concerns about crime, as well as other related questions.

Swift, Certain, and Fair

Swift, Certain, and Fair is a probation program for violent gun offenders ages 16-24 to help reduce gun violence and recidivism rates in the Monroe County. The evaluation includes interviewing, observing court procedures and participant screenings, and collecting data from stakeholders to determine program success. The researchers will work with the judge, the DA, Probation, et al., to formulate a research design for comparison groups within all initially screened SCF participants (247 individuals); create comparison groups and delineate elements of each group (e.g., SCF participants/straight probation sentence/prison sentence/12 month interim + 5 years’ probation) (elements of each group may be risk to community; ADA recommendation; etc.); and to write a Final Report Measurable Outcomes of SCF participants and the SCF Final Guide/Manual to aid in replication of the program.