Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Boston Police Department Youth Violence Strike Force

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): MA

Grantee Agency: See below

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2010/$46,966

About the Program:

The Boston Police Department Youth Violence Strike Force (YVSF Gang Unit), spearheads many of the youth violence prevention, intervention and enforcement initiatives for the BPD that saw Boston become the benchmark for innovative and successful violence prevention programming in the mid-late 90's, such as Operation Night Light and Operation Ceasefire- placing highest risk probationers, and active gang members on notification and removing anonymity in partnership with community and law other enforcement entities. Newer programs include Operation Homefront and Operation Stop Watch that focuses resources, referrals and attention on those at-risk youth and their families, through home-visits and service support, who demonstrate signs of potential gang involvement or violent behavior. Under the direction and supervision of the Commander of the YVSF, the analyst supported with JAG funding is responsible for comprehensive data collection including: the compilation, recording, researching, chronicling, and processing of data; collecting and analyzing data on violence crimes in neighborhood’s, reports of shots fired, gang-related firearms crimes, illegal trafficking of firearms by gangs, gang members, level of fear among residents and youth; integrating data bases, maintaining "live data" on all calls for service, incident reports filed, arrests, probation and parole information, etc. preparation of daily briefings to YVSF officers, District Commanders and beat teams; attends community meetings to gather information, act as a liaison to related projects, internal and external partners and institutions, and performs related duties as required.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

The success of many of these programs is based upon our ability to coordinate partners, facilitate meetings and debriefings, track and monitor program participants, gather data and analyze data, monitor and evaluate outcomes, and modify programming based on evaluation. The YVSF Analyst provides weekly arrest reports to the unit commander for dissemination at a variety of regularly scheduled department meetings. These weekly reports focus on the gang-related firearm seizures and arrests that have taken place in the previous week, involving the officers assigned to the YVSF. The YVSF Analyst also provides technical project assistance and a variety of reports for the unit supervisors and other department heads as requested during this reporting period.

Many victims of shootings in 2010 were killed during apparent drug robberies or drug deals gone bad. As a result, the BPD is now targeting violent drug offenders through close collaboration between the Drug Control Unit and the Youth Violent Strike Force in key shooting hot spots throughout the city. The majority of these initiatives include a variety of partner agencies- other law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, schools, community and faith-based non-profits. The need to continue proven effective programs that focus on the city's highest-risk individuals and highest-risk areas is critical.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Cheryl Joyce
Grants Manager Program Coordinator
Email: joycec.bpd@cityofboston.gov
Phone: 617-343-5858

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