Davenport Police are focusing on a strategy to lower gun violence in the city.

It’s called Group Violence Intervention.

Davenport Mayor Mike Matson launched the Violent Crime Task Force last year as a response to violence in the city.

The intent is to come up with new solutions to prevent violence, putting an emphasis on deterrence along with enforcement.

“We’ve seen a significance amount of gun violence…that has to stop,” says Davenport’s new Police Chief Jeffery Bladel, who was born and raised in Davenport.

“We were seeing violence that we haven’t seen before when it comes to the amount of rounds being fired on the scene, the amount of victims that we are seeing.”

It’s frustrating to Bladel.

“This is not Davenport. This is not our community.”

That’s where Group Violence Intervention comes in, according to Davenport Chief Strategy Officer Sarah Ott.

“What Group Violence Intervention aims to do is is reach out to those who are at highest risk of both violent victimization and offending with a message that we want to keep them safe, alive, and out of prison,” Ott said.

“One example is if we get into a car stop or after a shooting, an arrest was made but there’s also other individuals there that may be exposed to it,” Bladel said. “This gives us an opportunity to have that direct conversation and try to hopefully steer pathways of thoughts away from gun violence within our community.”

Group Violence Intervention is a collaboration between law enforcement, the city and community.
This ensures that multiple organizations have a voice in making a difference.

“It takes everybody to be successful because our community as a whole needs to be invested in the success and the outcomes of these individuals that are engaging in gun violence,” Ott said.

The police department also has technology that connects shell casings to guns used in shootings. They hope it will lead to confiscating more guns and a reduction in crime.