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How do we lead the way for positive change in Erie?

Our multi-faceted Enforcement strategies work in conjunction with our Prevention and Reentry strategies and are neighborhood and issue focused.  This enforcement plan is meant to enhance the Erie County long-term prevention strategy (the Community Action Plan) for reducing the identified risk factors that lead to problem behaviors, using proven effective and promising crime solutions.


Chronic Violent Offender Strategy:

Modeled after the effective and studied Project Safe Neighborhoods initiatives, our Enforcement strategy in Erie County recognizes that a small number of chronically violent offenders likely commit a disproportionately high number of offenses. 

Erie’s Chronic Violent Offender Strategy:

  1. Identify chronic violent offenders systematically

  2. Implement a chronic violent offender notification and intervention program

  3. Target enforcement actions towards chronic violent offenders

  4. Capture chronic violent offenders (using a fugitive apprehension team) before they re-offend. 


The criminal justice partners will be able to ensure public safety by fairly and effectively dealing with these offenders at every level of law enforcement, including: patrol officers, law enforcement detectives and investigators, federal and state law enforcement officers, the Erie County District Attorney; County, State and Federal probation and parole, the Department of Corrections pre-release center, and other reentry initiatives. 

Group Violence Reduction Strategy

Increasing levels of gun violence on our city’s streets motivated UnifiedErie partners and community collaborators to seek a holistic approach to addressing this issue.  Members searched for a program that not only enforced on and removed offenders from the streets, but also provided hope, help, and support to those same offenders if they were willing to choose alternative paths.  Group Violence Reduction Strategy(GVRS) was originally studied in Boston in 2001 as Operation Ceasefire. It has been replicated successfully in other cities throughout the country, including the often resourced KC NOVA project in Kansas City, MO.  This approach blends enforcement efforts with human services outreach and gives the offenders a choice of which path they want to follow.  


GVRS includes:

  • Identifying networks/gangs utilizing official police data and conducting a formal analysis of network relationships

  • Hosting a meeting to send the message violence will not be tolerated but to also convey a message of hope and sincere offer of help and supports to those identified as involved in violence

  • Conduct Enforcement Actions on those who choose to continue to engage in gun violence


Many frequently asked questions about GVRS and the call-in meetings can be found here.

Fugitive Task Force

In collaboration between the Western District of Pennsylvania-Erie U.S. Marshal’s Office, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, Erie Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania’s Board of Probation and Parole, and the District Attorney’s County Detective Bureau, a multi-member full-time task force will gather outstanding arrest warrant information from all area sources, and, focused on violent offenders, will engage in pro-active fugitive apprehension investigations.  Apprehending those violent fugitives will be done in a collaborative fashion. 

Gun Crime Working Group

Recognizing that a collaborative focus on gun crime has proven effective in gun crime reduction efforts elsewhere in the U.S., the enforcement strategy contemplates the use of the Gun Crime Working Group comprised of a ten member team consisting of an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Assistant District Attorney, ATF Agent, Erie Police Detective or ATF Task Force Officer, Erie Police Crime Sergeant, Millcreek Police Lieutenant, PSP Trooper, Adult Probation Officer, Juvenile Probation Officer, and a detective from the Office of the Erie County District Attorney.  The group would meet regularly to review all gun related incidents. 

Additional Strategies

Using effective strategies modeled after the Philadelphia Foot Patrol Program and the Minneappolis Preventive Patrol, the Erie Bureau of Police will increase its visibility through deployment of a Mobile Precinct, targeted Saturation Patrols with the Erie Police Neighborhood Action Team, and community based foot and bicycle Patrols.  By increasing police visibility in the highest crime sections of Erie, criminals will recognize that the area is not optimal for offending, thus acting as a deterrent.  Increased visibility under this prong of the strategy will be guided by the data analyzed in the research period.

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