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Davenport city leaders seeking gun violence solutions

Davenport city leaders seeking gun violence solutions
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Program leaders are looking at new trends in the who and why behind the gun violence, and new partnerships to improve prevention.

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — Davenport city leaders are calling the Group Violence Intervention or GVI strategy a success but are constantly evaluating the program.

The initiative works with individuals at risk of committing gun violence to steer them away from crime, through neighborhood outreach.

“The most significant decrease has shown in recent months, with a 27% decrease in shots fired in 2023 to date,” Davenport police chief Jeffery Bladel said.

Organizers said originally, their concern was on gun violence done by kids, but there is a newer trend to focus on. “A lot of the violence has been concentrated between 18 and 35 years of age,” Bladel said.

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Police have also noticed new reasons for the crime. “What we’ve seen lately in the last three years is more of the disputes—the general disputes, group disputes, or even personal disputes,” Bladel explained.

The GVI program plans to partner with Genesis Health. “We know that often times, they are the very first people that come in contact with those who have been victims of violence,” chief strategy officer Sarah Ott said.

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Program leaders also want to focus on training school resource officers to better work with kids on the gun violence prevention. They also want to work with volunteers in the community who may have a better understanding of the attitudes and people in their neighborhoods.



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