Law \ Legal

Hot Spot Policing Credited with Reducing Gun Violence

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Buffalo police have begun increasing their presence in city areas identified as “micro hot spots,” areas where gun violence has primarily occurred, reports the Buffalo News. After two years of near record-high numbers of shootings, police report those numbers are down about 36 percent in the first seven months of this year, compared to 2021.

Officers’ assignments now involve parking their cars, putting on their lights, walking around and talking to whoever is out and about in these focused areas.

The aim is to have officers going to hot spots throughout the day, spending 10 to 15 minutes at each location in what are called “directed patrols.”

Buffalo police, working with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, State Police, the FBI, and ATF, concentrated investigations on those responsible for most of the gun violence in the city, roughly 75 people, according to police estimates.

Advocates for criminal justice reform have raised questions, saying that hot spot policing methods lead to disproportionate arrests and ticketing in poor communities of color.

Additional Reading: How Hot Spots Policing Can Reduce Community Violence, Greg Berman, The Crime Report, Aug. 18, 2021 

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