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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