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News Release
Agencies release joint statement on violence reduction efforts this summer -- Correction - 06/07/24

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: June 7, 2024

 

CORRECTION 06/07/2024 | 11:45 a.m.

Please note: The quote from Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson has been corrected to accurately reflect her statement, "Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson said, “We are committed to our partnership with local law enforcement to address violence in our community. As police resources increase, so too will our prosecution efforts to ensure offenders are held accountable under the law. We must work together to stem this tide.”

Our apologies to DA Clarkson and the public for the typographical error and the misstep in communication.

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Originally published 06/07/2024 | 11:45 a.m.

Agencies release joint statement on violence reduction efforts this summer

Salem, Ore. — Six public safety partners are coordinating efforts to reduce the risk of violence in Salem during the upcoming summer months.

The collaboration between the Salem and Keizer Police Departments, the Marion County Sheriff and District Attorney's Offices and Juvenile Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation demonstrates the commitment and support to reduce violent crime in our area.

The work is part of the Community Violence Reduction Initiative (CVRI) which encompasses two concurrent efforts: community engagement to develop a community-based prevention and intervention strategy; and the immediate steps criminal justice partners are taking to curb violence.

The multi-agency partners have designed and implemented programs and systems to address the small percentage of individuals in the community who are driving the increased community violence. The ongoing work will be visible during the summer when the weather is warm, days are longer, and schools are not in session.

Deterrence, education, and trust-building are the emphasis with enforcement solely used as a tool for those who choose to engage in violence. The cooperative efforts include:

  • Visible patrols through areas identified as being at high risk for violence,
  • Identifying local government and non-profit summer youth programming to refer at-risk youth,
  • Leveraging county parole and probation services to reduce recidivism for those identified as high-risk, and
  • Increased education and trust-building opportunities through community engagement efforts

Data gathered in 2023 for a Salem gun violence problem analysis identified locations in the northeast area of the city where shootings are more concentrated and where efforts will be focused. 

Of the joint efforts, Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack noted, “Reducing community violence requires resources and a proactive approach. We are doing just that by bringing our collective resources to bear this summer to advance our efforts to deter violence and increase safety and accountability.”

Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson said, “We are committed to our partnership with local law enforcement to address violence in our community. As police resources increase, so too will our prosecution efforts to ensure officers are held accountable under the law. We must work together to stem this tide.”

Consultant Ben McBride of Empower Initiative continues to guide the CVRI community engagement activities toward a long-term, whole-of-community solution for the increased violence. Additional public meetings are anticipated in July and August to engage Salem community members through input and feedback for the overall violence reduction strategy. Meeting dates and locations will be published online when scheduled.

“Today is Gun Violence Awareness Day in Salem,” added Chief Womack, “and it’s the perfect day to remember that we are all working together—criminal justice partners and the community—to reduce shootings and violence for the safety and protection of everyone in the Salem-Keizer area.” 

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