Program

Strategic Enforcement to Drive Down Gun Violence

Issue

Strong State and City laws, combined with evidence-driven policing, have led to historic reductions in shooting incidents over the last two decades. Despite significant reductions in crime, the City continues to experience isolated shooting spikes concentrated in a few neighborhoods and committed by a few street crews and gangs.

Solutions

The City has made a series of targeted investments that concentrate enforcement resources at the few individuals driving the remaining violent crime. These initiatives include:

Project Fast Track: Launched in January 2016, Project Fast Track is a system-wide partnership between the Mayor’s Office, police, prosecutors, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Probation, the courts and others to focus on keeping shooters off the streets.

Key components to Project Fast Track include:

Enhancing Intelligence-Driven Policing

  • New Gun Violence Suppression Division within the New York Police Department (NYPD).  A new NYPD division with 200 personnel is focused on police investigations related to illegal firearms, as well as shootings and gangs.
  • Expanded investigations into interstate gun trafficking. The NYPD gang unit, along with the Attorney General’s office, works with the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to share, coordinate, and develop intelligence and investigative leads to better identify illegal gun trafficking networks.

Ensuring Aggressive Prosecution of Illegal Gun Cases

  • Dedicated police officer for duration of every illegal gun case. For the first time in New York City history, the NYPD has assigned a dedicated officer to each gun case from start to finish.
  • Feedback loop between prosecutors and police. To ensure that illegal gun prosecutions are successful, the NYPD’s dedicated officers track illegal gun case outcomes, obtain feedback from District Attorneys’ officers about why cases succeeded or failed, and utilize this feedback to improve evidence gathering and inform police training.
  • Expedited prosecution of illegal gun cases. Prosecutors from each District Attorney’s office work with the NYPD to enhance and expedite the prosecution of illegal gun cases.
  • Expanded capacity to quickly test DNA in gun cases. The Administration added additional funding for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner – including 21 new staff – dedicated to quickly testing DNA from all guns swabbed for DNA by the NYPD.

Fast-Tracking Illegal Gun Cases through the Court System

  • Dedicated courts to handle illegal gun cases. There are now two dedicated courts in Brooklyn tasked with processing illegal gun cases quickly. Brooklyn’s Fast Track courts are being evaluated to determine effectiveness before deciding whether to expand dedicated courts to other boroughs. 

Anti-Violence Innovation Challenge: MOCJ invited the District Attorneys to design innovative, anti-violence prosecution strategies that have the potential to reduce gun violence. Ten million dollars in award funding over five years is being split evenly across the boroughs to support prosecutors focused on driving down gun violence in their respective boroughs.