The focused deterrence strategy relies on joint police-community partnerships. Gaining and maintaining community engagement is essential.
First, the community must be educated on the initiative and its goals.
Along with resources providers, individual community members must be identified for speaking roles during the notification. Specifically, these individuals will speak as the moral voice of the community and communicate to offenders that the violence will no longer be tolerated. These individuals must be trusted and respected within the community and able to effectively deliver the message in a stern, yet compassionate, manner.
Specifically, the focused deterrence strategy:
- Identifies problem/chronic violent and gang offenders in geographical areas of concentration;
- Investigates and prosecutes the most violent groups and individual offenders within areas of concentration;
- Notifies identified, targeted offenders – with face-to-face communication – that violence will not be tolerated and offers assistance to those who choose to remain crime free;
- Follows through with aggressive prosecution of those who continue violence and delivery of needed resources to those who choose change;
- Evaluates what works and repeats the strategy to institutionalize;
- Standardizes the identification process as a regular violent gun case screening.
The focused deterrence model has been applied across four initiatives within the NC Network for Safe Communities