Webinars and Podcasts
This page features PSP-sponsored webinars and podcasts on topics of interest related to increasing public safety and reducing violence.
Innovative Strategies for Investigating Criminal Organizations
Street-level violent gun crime has two consistent, demographic features: a small percentage of a city’s population is responsible for an overwhelming majority of its violent gun crime and this small population operates in groups. Yet, in violent gun crime investigations and prosecutions, it is most often the single event and the single suspect that are in focus. This focus may overlook what is known and often leaves criminal organizations participating in violent gun crime free from accountability.
The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) further reveals the group aspect to violent gun crime by showing a pattern of criminal behavior shootings. A more complex, but effective, approach to investigating individuals working together to engage in a pattern of violent gun crime is through conspiracy. This webinar explores the surface issues, applying conspiracy strategies to violent gun crime. It opens a discussion for thought to move toward innovative solutions.
NFS Investigation Assessments: Observations From the Field
PSP provides the opportunity for PSP sites to receive an independent assessment of their nonfatal shooting (NFS) processes and protocols. These assessments are intended to provide the sites with a basis to increase their clearance rates, reduce violent offenses, enhance public safety, and decrease crime guns in circulation. In partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) fields an accomplished team of subject-matter experts to review and assess the requesting agency’s policies, procedures, and practices. This webinar highlights commonalities found in NFS investigation assessments conducted by IIR and provides a generic overview of related observations.
Lunch and Learn: Operation Save A Casing
This PSP Lunch and Learn event highlighted the Wichita, Kansas, Police Department’s Operation Save a Casing initiative, a Bureau of Justice Assistance-sponsored program that allows for local residents of a community to provide critical ballistic intelligence to law enforcement in the event that their firearms are stolen or lost. This event provided an overview of the program and its implementation by the Wichita Police Department.
In today’s climate of rapidly evolving technology, intense public scrutiny, and the increased availability of data to drive strategies, it has become increasingly important that violence reduction strategies are intelligence-led. This webinar provided PSP sites with an overview of the terminology associated with intelligence, as well as the review process required to utilize it in a manner that is both efficient and legal. In addition, the Intelligence 101 webinar highlighted critical practices and reviewed national standards that line officers and investigators need to know to combat violent crime, gangs, and criminal enterprises.
Model Victim Services
Integrating victim services into law enforcement agencies can provide crime victims with streamlined access to counseling and resources. In addition to providing more empathetic services to victims of crime, law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial partners benefit from enhanced victim/witness communication, which in turn can increase the likelihood of cooperation as cases progress through the criminal justice system. Implementing a victim services program can increase an agency’s ability to connect with the community they serve, however the process of building capacity in victim services can be a challenging endeavor. This webinar highlighted the implementation of a victim services program in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Police Department and the Office for Victims of Crime’s law enforcement and victim services portfolio.
Utilizing Data Effectively
The 21st-century crime analyst’s role is ever-changing as technology continues to grow, evolve, and successfully support criminal investigations. Crime analysts are responsible for producing more than just dots on a map, charts, and graphs. The amount of data that is available to an analyst can be overwhelming, but knowing how to use data as a valuable tool for law enforcement can be a game changer. Topics addressed during this webinar included capturing, analyzing, and acting on data; critical thinking and becoming investigative in analyzing crime; utilizing the analyst network; and investigative resources and analytical case studies.
Managing the Recovery of Digital and Video Evidence
As video camera and cellular technology has advanced, digital and video evidence recovery has become critical to a successful criminal investigation. The proliferation of privately and publicly owned video cameras presents an unprecedented opportunity to build stronger cases supported by extensive digital evidence. The advancement and abundance of digital and video evidence have also presented new challenges to law enforcement and prosecutors who are now trying to recover, manage, and prepare large amounts of data and video evidence for trial. The Chicago, Illinois, Police Department (CPD) has recently established several Area Technology Centers (ATCs) and has integrated select personnel into these units to augment CPD’s investigative and patrol personnel in the recovery of digital evidence. Topics addressed during this webinar included: an outline of the ATC’s organizational structure, methods of deployment, and response protocols; technology utilized to capture digital evidence within the ATC; and CPD’s digital evidence recovery efforts, including case-specific summaries.
Crime Analysis for Executives
Crime analysis has become an essential tool in law enforcement’s efforts to enhance public safety, identify emerging trends, allocate resources, apply new technology, and plan crime-prevention strategies. Successful data-driven strategies such as hot-spot policing, problem-oriented policing, and intelligence-led policing use the work of an effective crime analysis unit. This webinar provided insight on how a crime analyst can support chiefs, sheriffs, and other police executives or managers with strategic or tactical decision making. Topics included: what to expect from your crime analyst, and how to make effective use of crime analysis; supporting and managing crime analysts, as well as staffing levels and placement; methods to improve data quality, including necessary tools and training; and Records Management System (RMS) and Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) connectivity.
Focused-deterrence initiatives commonly include such aspects as identification of prolific offenders, scripted offender notification meetings, coordinated and strategic prosecution, provision of social services to individuals willing to accept them, and careful monitoring of individuals’ actions. When carefully and properly implemented, focused-deterrence initiatives have great potential to enhance the perceived legitimacy of the police and the public’s trust in them in communities where these have often been lacking. This webinar provides an introductory overview of the fundamentals of focused deterrence, research on and implementation of focused deterrence in major cities, and virtual tools to further focused deterrence efforts.
Please note, due to technical difficulties with the audio service provider during this presentation, viewers may experience minor audio impairments when viewing this webinar. For questions regarding this webinar or the topic of focused deterrence, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following materials have been archived from the PSP pilot program, the Violence Reduction Network (VRN).
Children Exposed to Violence in Law Enforcement
Today’s law enforcement officers are increasingly tasked with dealing with children who are exposed to violence, crime, and abuse. If not the victim, children witness the victimization of others and the resulting trauma, which if left unaddressed, can have far-reaching effects and result in an uncertain future for its victims. The U.S. Department of Justice’s VRN is pleased to host Ms. Cynthia Pappas in this podcast on Children Exposed to Violence. Ms. Pappas is a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), where she provides national leadership and coordination on issues surrounding child sexual abuse, child sex trafficking prevention and intervention, and youth and law enforcement engagement.
BJA Transition Update and Site Updates
The purpose of this webinar is for BJA
to share information regarding
activities moving forward through the transition process and to highlight
site resource delivery plans and sustainability efforts.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) NIBIN and eTrace Overview
The Violence Reduction Network is pleased to present this podcast of the ATF National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) and the Electronic Tracing System (eTrace) networks. The focus of this podcast is to provide an overview of these resources and the services they provide to law enforcement.
Resources related to this podcast are considered law enforcement sensitive and are available to site representatives and team members only.
Please log in
to view the resources.
License Plate Reader Best Practices
The purpose of this webinar is to provide law enforcement officials with an overview of the value of license plate readers (LPRs), including how to establish a program, the development of policies for LPR use, LPR successes, and the development of implementation plans.
Recruiting a Diverse Police Department Through Digital Outreach
A police department that reflects the ethnic, gender, and racial makeup of the communities it serves helps to build trust and improve relationships. Commitment to encouraging diversity in the police force has immense value, both internally and externally. This past winter, candidates were invited to apply to the Chicago Police Department for the first time in three years. Of the 14,000 applicants who responded to the announcement, 71 percent identified as a minority. Maintaining a police force that represents the community it serves is a top priority in Chicago and across the country. The webinar highlights the importance of diversity for building trust in the community and describes how Chicago developed a 12-week digital outreach campaign to bolster minority recruitment and lessons learned that will improve efforts in the future.
Exploring Active Shooter Response and Training
The goal of this webinar is to provide law enforcement officials with an overview of the research and analysis of active shooting incidents from the last several years and to share information regarding training strategies and best practices for law enforcement response to an active shooter. It will also provide information regarding current DOJ training and resources available through the FBI and the BJA VALOR Initiative and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Program.
Casualty Care and Rescue Tactics
“Today’s law enforcement officers are facing increasing threats from not only non-traditional events such as terrorist attacks and active shooter events but a continuation of traditional threats and assaults that occur during traffic stops, domestic disturbances and the like.” ~Chief David Flory (Ret.)
Being prepared with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide immediate life-saving aid to oneself as well as to an injured individual has never been more critical for law enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN) is pleased to host Chief David Flory (Ret.) in this podcast discussion on casualty care and rescue tactics, otherwise known as self-aid/buddy-aid.
Casualty Care and Rescue Tactics flyer | David Flory Biography
Prosecution Strategies for Violence Reduction
In today’s environment, the role of the prosecutor in overall violence reduction extends far beyond the courtroom. Across the country, some communities have adopted unique and multifaceted approaches to reducing violent crime by establishing trust and providing opportunities for success through community outreach, call-in sessions, and strong partnerships among the community, prosecutors, law enforcement, probation and parole, academia, and social services. Join this webinar to learn about two innovative, data-driven programs and the benefit of prosecutorial involvement in violence reduction strategies for the communities they serve.
Braga, Anthony A. and David L. Weisburd. 2014. “Must We Settle for Less Rigorous Evaluations in Large Area Based Crime Prevention Programs? Lessons from a Campbell Review of Focused Deterrence.” Journal of Experimental Criminology, 10 (4): 573 – 597.
Braga, Anthony A. and David L. Weisburd. 2012. “The Effects of Focused Deterrence Strategies on Crime: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Evidence.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 49 (3): 323 – 358.
Social Media Analysis
Social media plays a valuable role in allowing people, businesses, and organizations to keep in touch and interact with one another in ways as never before. Unfortunately, social media can also be used by individuals to espouse criminal intentions, coordinate criminal activities, and even publicize acts of violence. This webinar orients the audience with tools, methods, and techniques to search for subjects, issues, or people on any number of social media sites. Participants also generate a more complete understanding of the concept and function of these sites, how some sites support analysis while others support targeting, and how social media tools and resources can be used to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and investigate criminal activity. By forming a more complete understanding of social media-associated investigative tools and techniques, law enforcement may be better equipped to gather timely information in the furtherance of crime prevention and the investigation of criminal activity.
Strategies to Improve Homicide Investigations and Increase Clearance Rates
During this webinar, participants heard from Dr. David Carter and Mr. Brian Russell on successful and effective approaches in managing homicide investigations based on the collective experience of seven law enforcement agencies, the importance of a reciprocal relationship between law enforcement and prosecutors, and the critical tasks during the first 48 hours of a homicide investigation.
View the Presentation
View the Resources
Listen to the Recording
The U.S. Department of Justice hosted the VRN Virtual Forum as a collective Network update for all VRN sites and DOJ. This forum provided an opportunity for VRN site leaders and representatives to hear from each other regarding violence reduction efforts under way in each site and the DOJ resources that have been most helpful to them. Sites provided feedback on assistance that has been delivered through VRN, goals for the next six months, and ways VRN can better assist in the future. The VRN leadership team also provided a briefing on the future of the Network, including new sites, the fall summit, and more.
View the Webinar Recording
Top Offender Lists
With research indicating that a relatively small number of offenders are responsible for a large number of the crimes that are committed, identifying top offenders for the targeting of scarce resources can be a successful strategy to address and decrease crime in the community. The objectives of this session were to learn how to develop and maintain a top offender list, discuss strategies and related challenges and prospects to using a top offender list, learn about the lists developed by different agencies and initiatives, and discuss the utilization of top offender lists with your VRN colleagues.
View the Webinar Recording
This project was supported by Grant No. 2016-DG-BX-K006 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.