Cardiff Model Will Help Guide Strategies to Prevent Violence in Southern DeKalb County
Violence is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages, but according to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than half of violent crime (53 percent) in the United States is unreported to law enforcement. Therefore, communities lack a complete understanding of where violence occurs and how to develop tailored prevention programs. The Cardiff Violence Prevention Model (Cardiff Model), developed by surgeon and Professor Jonathan Shepherd, M.D., of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, provides a way for communities to gain more complete information as to where violence occurs and how to prevent it by forming partnerships between hospitals and law enforcement and others interested in violence prevention. Grady Memorial Hospital and DeKalb County Police Department have created a local Cardiff Model partnership through a CDC Foundation grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The partnership, known locally as the United States Injury Prevention Partnership or USIPP, has worked since June 2015 to collect anonymous information on the location and timing of violent events and using that information with existing law enforcement records to create local maps of where violence occurs. Local maps have identified that the southern region of DeKalb County has a higher number of assaults and crimes than other areas of DeKalb County. This information and predictive analysis enhances law enforcement efforts and helps guide environmental improvements that can reduce crime, such as building repairs, safety improvements, and other USIPP-led ideas. Currently, USIPP is partnering with DeKalb Police Department’s South Precinct and business group to develop public health strategies and environmental approaches to address violence and crime in the area.
The DeKalb County Police Department works with area businesses to improve public safety and seek new opportunities to prevent crime in DeKalb County. "We welcome community involvement and partnerships to enhance the quality of life for the residents of DeKalb County," said DeKalb County Police Chief J.W. Conroy. "We are always looking for new and innovative ways to identify and reduce crime." USIPP’s support and community engagement have strengthened the interest of businesses to prevent crime by improving their properties using evidence-based environmental approaches such as property beautification and increased security measures.
Daniel Wu, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at Emory School of Medicine, says, "The opportunity to work with DeKalb County Police Department allows the hospital [Grady Memorial Hospital] to prevent violence before it enters our doors. We are committed to improving the health of our communities by making them safer through innovative programs like the Cardiff Model and partnerships like ours with DeKalb County Police Department."
USIPP also has been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Violence Prevention, which has provided technical assistance and support for adapting the Cardiff Model to the United States and selecting public health approaches for violence prevention. Implementation at Grady Memorial Hospital and within DeKalb County is an initial step toward building a broader understanding of how to adapt the Cardiff Model in the United States.
"We are grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for this grant that provides the opportunity for exploring the use of the Cardiff Violence Prevention Model in the United States," said Judith A. Monroe, M.D., president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "It is our hope that this project in DeKalb County and the Atlanta metropolitan region will also help inform violence prevention strategies nationwide."
Preventing violence and making communities safer are key USIPP goals. DeKalb County Police Department and Grady Memorial Hospital hope to engage with more community groups, public health agencies, local governments, and others interested in violence prevention to scale-up and sustain implementation of the Cardiff Model in the Atlanta metropolitan area. South DeKalb County businesses interested in learning more about how the local Cardiff model partnership could benefit their business and communities are welcome to attend the next business group meeting, scheduled for Feb. 22, 2017, from 10:00–11:00a.m. ET at South DeKalb County Police Precinct, 2842 H F Shepard Drive, Decatur, GA 30024.