Homicide: Recurring Themes

The Homicide Task Force identified a number of recurring themes in the information it received that ultimately shaped the group's recommendations.  Those themes include:

  • Homicide is the symptom, not the illness

  • Homicides will not be significantly reduced until violent conflicts are reduced

  • Homicide is not just a police problem; no community can simply arrest their way out of homicide and violence

  • The availability and the value placed on guns is a prevailing factor in the homicide rate

  • Growing the network of prevention services is the community's greatest violence reduction need

  • Violence prevention must target young people; the earlier the intervention the better

  • Solving the homicide problem requires addressing the causative factors of violence: poverty, abuse, single parent homes, mental health issues, low education, lack of employment opportunities, low self esteem, substance abuse and lack of life skills

  • Homicides bring a tremendous cost to the community and affect, in some manner, everyone in the community

  • Homicide reduction will require the efforts and will of the entire community, through strong collaborative partnerships, to develop a holistic approach to violence reduction

  • Violence and its tragic outcomes will not be significantly reduced until the community is sufficiently outraged and takes ownership of the issue

  • Community education and awareness of the dynamics of homicide are the keys to ownership of the homicide problem

  • There are no short term sustainable solutions to the homicide problem