MSU Experts Champion Violence Reduction Efforts at National Summit

December 21, 2023 - JJ Thomas

The 2023 Violent Crime Reduction Summit, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance, was held from December 11-13 in Indianapolis. Multiple experts from the School of Criminal Justice were present to discuss their efforts with Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), National Public Safety Partnership (PSP), and the One Detroit Violence Reduction Partnership.

MSU's presence underscored the university's commitment to addressing violent crime through evidence-based strategies and strong community partnerships.

Photo of Dr. Chris Melde“The School of Criminal Justice has a strong legacy of being at the forefront of national efforts to combat violent crime through community collaborative approaches to violence prevention and intervention. Our faculty has teamed with local, state, and federal agencies and community partners to develop, evaluate, and disseminate many of the leading strategies communities use in response to violence problems that impact far too many communities across our nation. As representatives from across the U.S. gathered here in Indianapolis to share the latest developments in violence prevention, our legacy and ongoing efforts were evident in many of the sessions delivered.” - Dr. Chris Melde


Amy Solomon, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs was the opening speaker on the first day of the summit. In her presentation, she praised the contributions of Dr. Ed McGarrell (Professor Emeritus in the School of Criminal Justice) for his work in developing and shaping strategic partnerships between researchers and practitioners to create what is now known as Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Heather Perez, a specialist in the School of Criminal Justice, is the National PSN Training and Technical Assistance Project Director, and has been pivotal in the program’s continued success across the Country. Multiple faculty in the School are also supporting PSN projects throughout the State of Michigan. Dr. Scott Wolfe is the research partner for the PSN efforts in Saginaw, Dr. Chris Melde is the research partner for PSN efforts in Detroit and Jackson, and recently Dr. Chris Melde and Dr. Brandon Turchan partnered to provide research support to PSN efforts in Western Michigan.



Attorney General Merrick Garland, also a keynote speaker at the Summit, highlighted the positive impacts of these collaborative efforts in reducing gun violence in Detroit. The One Detroit Violence Reduction Partnership has brought together researchers, government, and stakeholders to reduce gun violence in the city.

The One Detroit Partnership, which includes key members from the School of Criminal Justice, works to develop evidence-based policies that reduce gun violence in the city. The program is built upon three pillars that focus on Violence Prevention, Law Enforcement, and Re-entry.

Dr. Chris Melde serves on the Executive Board of One Detroit while Dr. Jeff Rojek serves on the Enforcement Sub-Committee, and Dr. Julie Krupa serves on the Prevention Sub-Committee. One Detroit, combined with many ongoing efforts to combat gun violence in the city of Detroit has led to an 18% decrease in homicides compared to 2022, with the city on pace to record the fewest homicides in 60 years. Their combined efforts within One Detroit illustrate the potential of researchers and stakeholders working together on comprehensive strategies at the local level.

Photo of Dr. Ed McGarrell, Heather Perez, Dr. Chris Melde, and Dr. Scott Wolfe at the 2023 Violent Crime Reduction Summit