Evanston Police Department initiatives recover 41 guns in the city

Marissa Page, City Editor

The Evanston Police Department announced Thursday that its violence reduction initiative resulted in the recovery of 25 firearms from September to December of 2015.

The violence reduction strategy was conceptualized last September in response to community concern about gun violence in the city. Two members from EPD’s neighborhood enforcement team and tactical unit worked specifically on gun-related crimes in the community, according to a news release.

Additionally, members from the department’s problem-solving team and foot patrol went door-to-door visiting private residences, businesses, schools, parks and places of worship to ask Evanston residents about issues they felt were important. The team also used a HEAT map to patrol areas that had been indicated in shots fired calls, according to the release.

Other units of the police department that pursued separate initiatives, such as the department’s 24/7 gun buyback program, recovered 16 additional weapons, totaling 41 recovered guns between September and December, according to the release.

Evanston police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan told The Daily that the active pursuit of community input inherent in the violence reduction initiative was unique to Evanston.

“We have officers going out to concentrate specifically on recovering firearms, and we have officers going into neighborhoods, knocking on doors and talking to residents,” Dugan said. “Everybody has gun buybacks, and I don’t know if they do it all the time, but the violence reduction initiative is pretty specific to Evanston.”

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