Newsroom Archive


John Jay College Launches “National Network for Safe Communities” To Reduce Violent Crime and Overt Drug Markets and To Build a New Standard of Practice for Reducing Crime in the US

Providence, RI, June 15, 2009 -- The Center for Crime Prevention and Control of John Jay College of Criminal Justice today officially launched the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) at a press conference held at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Providence, RI.

According to Jeremy Travis, NNSC co-chair and President of John Jay College, “The National Network for Safe Communities is a unique coalition of police chiefs, prosecutors, community leaders and scholars, all committed to building a new standard of practice aimed at reducing violent crimes, eliminating overt drug markets, promoting racial reconciliation between minority communities and law enforcement and reducing high levels of incarceration.”

The new standards are rooted in the systematic implementation of two crime prevention strategies – one to prevent homicide and serious violence associated with gangs and other violent groups, and the other to eliminate overt drug markets. At the press conference, it was noted that these crime reduction strategies are currently being implemented in 75 jurisdictions. The Network’s members believe that these strategies represent a new standard of practice that should be adopted nationally.

Professor David Kennedy, NNSC co-Chair and Director of the College’s Center for Crime Prevention and Control, is the chief architect of these crime reduction strategies. “These strategies work,” said Professor Kennedy. “We’ve been losing whole generations of young people to the streets, prison, or murder, and we simply don’t have to live with that any longer.”

Col. Dean M. Esserman, Police Chief of Providence, RI and a founding member of the NNSC, noted, “In Providence, the police department and the community have partnered to implement these crime reduction strategies and we are seeing results. The Network will enable communities across the country to adopt the strategies and see the positive results first-hand.”

"Cincinnati's version of the Network's strategy, the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, has not only reduced group-related homicides, but it has helped many formerly violent individuals escape the cycle of violence and turn their lives around. For many of these young men, they have never been offered a way out before. The police and the community are partnering to send a strong message that change is possible,” said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.

These strategies were pioneered in Boston, MA in the mid 1990’s and in High Point, NC five years ago. The original Boston Ceasefire intervention cut youth homicide by two thirds and homicide citywide by half. The High Point intervention eliminated drug markets citywide, and reduced violent crime in the first neighborhood in which it was implemented by 57 percent. Both have been implemented in numerous cities around the country. Most recently, in Hempstead, NY the overt drug market strategy resulted in a 74% drop in crime and an 87% drop in drug arrests in the worst open-air drug market in Nassau County.

The NNSC has formed a Leadership Group committed to developing these strategies further and sharing their experiences and insights with a larger network; the Leadership Group's current members, through commitment of their police chiefs, are Boston, Massachusetts (Commissioner Ed Davis); Cincinnati, Ohio (Colonel Tom Streicher); High Point, North Carolina (Chief James Fealy); Los Angeles, California (Chief William Bratton); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Chief Ed Flynn); and Providence, Rhode Island (Colonel Dean Esserman); other jurisdictions will join shortly. The NNSC Executive Board is comprised of leaders from the national, state and local level who have been involved in implementing and evaluating the strategies of the NNSC over more than a decade, have seen the positive results first hand, and will help guide the NNSC’s work.

The NNSC is growing rapidly; for a list of current NNSC jurisdictions, network members and Executive Board members, see below.

The National Network for Safe Communities is dedicated to implementing these crime reduction strategies nationally; to institutionalizing them; to continuing to evaluate and improve them; and thereby to dramatically reduce crime and incarceration in America. For more information about the NNSC, visit

The Center for Crime Prevention and Control fosters innovative crime reduction strategies through hands-on fieldwork, research, and unique partnerships with communities, police, prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals. Its staff is actively engaged in crime prevention initiatives in jurisdictions around the country and the world fostering close working relations with practitioners within key criminal justice and community institutions. For more information about the Center, visit

Established in 1964, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York is an international leader in educating for justice. It offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit




1. Baltimore, MD

2. Boston, MA

3. Canton, OH

4. Chicago, IL

5. Cincinnati, OH

6. Cleveland, OH

7. Columbus, OH

8. Dayton, OH

9. Greensboro, NC

10. Greenville, NC

11. Hempstead, NY

12. High Point, NC

13. Hillsborough, NC

14. Los Angeles, CA

15. Mesa, AZ

16. Milwaukee, WI  

17. Mineola, NY

18. Mount Vernon, NY

19. Ocala, FL

20. Omaha, NE

21. Peoria, IL

22. Pittsburgh, PA

23. Providence, RI

24. Rockford, IL

25. Sacramento, CA

26. Seattle, WA

27. Shelby, NC

28. Stockton, CA

29. White Plains, NY

30. Yonkers, NY




  1. Bruce Allison, Captain / Program Manager, Canton Police Department, OH
  2. William Anderson, Chief of Police, Greenville Police Department, NC
  3. Frederick Bealefeld, Commissoner, Baltimore Police Department, MD
  4. Timothy Bellamy, Chief of Police, Greensboro Police Department, NC
  5. Richard Biehl, Chief of Police, Dayton Police Department, OH
  6. Clarence F. Birkhead, Chief of Police, Hillsborough Police Department, NC
  7. James Bradley, Chief of Police, White Plains Police Department, NY
  8. William J. Bratton, Chief of Police, Los Angeles Police Department, CA
  9. Ricky Burgess, Councilman, City of Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Eric Buske, Chief of Police, Omaha Police Department, NE
  11. David E. Chong, Commissioner, Police Department Mount Vernon, NY
  12. Milton Dohoney, City Manager, City of Cincinnati, OH
  13. Edward Davis, Police Commissioner, Boston Police Department, MA
  14. John Diaz, Interim Chief of Police, Seattle Police Department, WA
  15. Barbara Duncan, Chief of Police, Mount Vernon Police Department, NY
  16. Chet Epperson, Chief of Police, Rockford Police Department, IL
  17. Dean Esserman, Chief of Police, Providence Police Department, RI
  18. James Fealy, Chief of Police, High Point, NC
  19. Edward Flynn, Chief of Police, Milwaukee Police Department, WI
  20. George Gascon, Chief of Police, Mesa Police Department, AZ
  21. Rebecca Gaytko, Special Projects Administrator, City of Dayton, OH
  22. Edmund Hartnett, Commissioner, Yonkers Police Department, NY
  23. Lynn Koliboski, Lieutenant, Mesa Police Department, AZ
  24. Tom Larson, Lieutenant, Peoria Police Department, IL
  25. Jeffrey H. Ledford, Chief of Police, Shelby Police Department, NC
  26. Mark Mallory, Mayor, City of Cincinnati, OH
  27. Michael McGrath, Chief of Police, Chief of Police, Cleveland Police Department, OH
  28. Dean McKimm, Chief of Police, Canton Ohio Police Department, OH
  29. Karhlton Moore, Director of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice Services, Columbus, OH
  30. Denise O’Donnell, Commissioner, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, NY
  31. Hon. Kathleen Rice, District Attorney, Nassau County, NY
  32. Paul Seave, Director, Gang & Youth Policy, Office of the Governor, Sacramento, CA
  33. Steven Settingsgaard, Chief of Police, Peoria Police Department, IL
  34. Terri Shelton, Director, Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC
  35. Frank G. Straub, Commissioner, White Plains Department of Public Safety, NY
  36. Thomas H. Streicher, Jr., Chief of Police, Cincinnati Police Department, OH
  37. Blair Ulring, Chief of Police, Stockton Police Department, CA
  38. Jody Weis, Police Superintendent, Chicago Police Department, IL
  39. Joseph B. Wing, Chief of Police, Hempstead Police Department, NY
  40. Dennis Yonce, Major, Ocala Police Department, FL


National Network for Safe Communities – Executive Board Members


Professor David M. Kennedy Director, Center for Crime Prevention and Control
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Dr. Anthony Braga
Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management
Harvard University

Colonel Dean Esserman
Chief of Police
Providence Police Department Providence, RI

Chief Jim Fealy
High Point Police Department
High Point, NC

Ms. Elizabeth Glazer
Special Counsel to the
Attorney General New York State
Attorney General’s Office

Mr. Teny Gross
Executive Director
Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence
Providence, RI

Mr. Ted Heinrich, Esq.,

Mr. Paul Seave
Gang and Youth Violence Policy Office of the Governor, California

Mr. Glenn Ivey
State’s Attorney
Office of the State’s Attorney
Prince George’s County, MD

Mr. Robert A J. Lang, Esq.

Pastor Sherman Mason
Greater New Hope Baptist Church High Point, NC

Mr. Jeremy Travis
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Dr. Ed McGarrell
Director School of Criminal Justice Michigan State University

Professor Tracey Meares
Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law Yale Law School

Ms. Meg Reiss
Executive Assistant District Attorney Investigation Division
Nassau County
District Attorney’s Office, NY

Mr. Mark Schoofs
Fellow, Open Society Institute

Dr. Ellen Scrivner
Leadership Academy
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Chief Thomas H. Streicher, Jr.
Cincinnati Police Department
Cincinnati, OH

Reverend Jim Summey
Executive Director
High Point Community Against Violence High Point, NC

Dr. Doug Thompkins
Department of Sociology
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Mr. Stewart Wakeling
Project Director/Principal
Investigator Public Health Institute