3 things to know about the Violence Reduction Network

Even if you are not currently a part of the Violence Reduction Network it would be beneficial for ever department to spend some time educating themselves with the tools and resources available

The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) has just had its first anniversary — five cities have been working for a year on the reduction of violent crime in their communities. The VRN is now adding five additional cites to the Network: Compton (Calif.), Flint (Mich.), Little Rock (Ark.), Newark (N.J.), and West Memphis, (Ark.). All of these cites qualify due to the fact that their cities far exceed the national average in violent crime and come to the table with the readiness to participate in this collaborative initiative.

Readiness means they have been following the current trends in crime reduction, partnering with their local, State and Federal agencies to work against the own tide of crime. Their department and partners were selective based on a quantitative (data in numbers) and qualitative (data in programs, policies, strategies and partnerships)

1. Readiness is a key to obtaining funding for your community. The more serious you get about strategically selecting and working with local, state and federal partnerships creating new best practice strategies for crime reduction the more likely you will be able to access programs and funding. 

The VRN is a comprehensive “All-hands” alliance between the local law enforcement department, and the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Executive Office for US Attorneys, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Office of Violence against Women, US Marshals Service and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. 

2. Planning for future programs and strategies is the path the funding and participation is comprehensive grant funded programs. The VRN offers Customized Training and Technical Assistance, Strategic Site Liaisons, robust tools to enhance information sharing and an Annual VRN Summit. The VRN network website is chock full of critical information which can be used to assist a department who would like to enter this program in the future.   

Click on “Items of Interest” and you will find six areas which offer insight into the VRN programming, research, new, training and other related articles and reports. Any department seeking to reduce violent crime will find useful information. Each newsletter contains links to resources every department can use for their strategies and programs for reducing violent crime. 

The weekly news contains a collection of articles and resources complied for the Network with information related to the reduction of violent crime. These resources should be considered before writing any grant related to the reduction of crime. Many of the resources are not well promoted but very valuable. This type of planning keeps you ahead of the curve in crime strategies. 

3. Current training tools are available at the webinar section of the VRN. Ongoing education and training is essential to all police departments. Current publications, updated strategies, on topics for all law enforcement offices are available at the VRN webinar section. Topics include crime analysis, crime prevention, domestic violence, drugs, gang violence, homicide, investigations, technology violence reduction, youth violence and many more are available for your review.

Even if you are not currently a part of the Violence Reduction Network it would be beneficial for ever department to spend some time educating themselves with the tools and resources available. The more you know and stay up to date with your profession the more likely you can seek and obtain grant funding.

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