Operation Ceasefire

Operation Ceasefire


Due to the prevalence of mass shootings in the United States, several states, including Boston, designed a problem known to solve strategy as Operation Ceasefire that would help eliminate the problem. Furthermore, several researchers have tried to explain Operation Ceasefire, its scope, and how it has helped reduce mass shootings in the United States. Braga, Weisburd & Turchan (2018) defined Operation Ceasefire as a problem-solving strategy that aims at reducing mass shootings, illegal possession of weapons, and gun violence in communities. Originally, the strategy was developed by the Boston (Mass) Police Department of Youth Violence to conduct a broad strategy for prosecuting and apprehending offenders in possession of a firearm (Brandon, 2015). Fox et al. (2015) also add that the strategy was created to warn potential criminals on serious punishments awaiting those who carry illegal firearms. Braga (2015), in his study, argues that Operation Ceasefire is grounded on the assumption mass shootings can be reduced if the costs of conducting mass shootings outweigh the benefits of conducting the offense.

According to Brunson (2015), Operation Ceasefire is a major element of a comprehensive, collaborative strategy, including Operation Night Light and Boston Gun Project, which was implemented to tackle the issue of escalating mass shootings in the United States. In another study conducted by Braga (2017), Operation Ceasefire involves a combination of prosecution and law enforcement efforts that aim to recover illegal handguns, prosecute dangerous felons, increase public awareness and promote antiviolence as well as public safety. Labs (2018) alludes that Operation Ceasefire as an intervention focuses on deterrence so strategy. The strategy also uses a pulling levers approach that attempts to prevent mass shootings by making potential criminals believe that there are severe consequences associated with gun use (Petrosino et al., 2015). This helps in persuading them to change their behaviors. Banks et al. (2017) also add that deterrence strategy enables Ceasefire to target the mass shooters who have engaged in gun violence rather than wasting resources on those who have not.

Herderson and Ozer (2017)carried out an evaluation study and concluded that Operation Ceasefire was effectual in decreasing the average rate of mass shootings by 63%. The study also found out that the number of gun assaults decreased by 25% in Boston’s District D-2, while that of youth gun violence decreased by 44%. Furthermore, the strategy reduced the amount of shots-fired calls for service by 32% citywide. In another study conducted by Kurland (2018), Operation Ceasefire revealed its effectiveness in the recovery of new handguns not only in Boston but also in other major cities in the United States. The researchers also found a 47% decrease in the rate of newly discovered firearms and a significant drop in the rate of discovered fast time-to-crime firearms in Boston.

Henderson, Peterson, and Engle (2017), in their study, address the use of direct law enforcement as the first element of Operation Ceasefire. The element aims at attacking illicit firearms traffickers who have been supplying firearms to the youths. According to Gamble  (2018), Operation Firearm frames a set of initiatives that address the patterns of gun trafficking systematically. The first initiative set by Project Safe Neighborhoods (2018)  involves the expansion of local, state, and federal authorities’ attention on the trafficking of sourced guns across states. The second initiative focuses on the enforcement of attention on gun makers and traffickers whose guns indicate shooter period. The third initiative pointed out by (Braga, 2017) indicates that Operation Firearm focuses on enforcing attention on traffickers distributing firearms to the most violent mass shooters in the city. Moreover, Bank et al. ‘s (2017) study indicates that Operation Firearm also attempts to restore serial numbers that are obliterated. The authors also argue that the practices can be supported by analyzing the crime gun traces found in police investigations records.

Braga, Weisburd, and Turchan (2018) examined the major components of Operation Ceasefire and how it has helped reduce mass shootings in the United States. In their study, the authors argue that the main tactics of Operation Ceasefire suppression involve long sentences, a lot of warrants, deployment of Federal enforcement powers, and enforcing aggressive probation restrictions. In a similar finding, Kurland (2018) alludes Operation Ceasefire’s prevention strategy is based on an ambitious communications campaign that incorporates meeting with both the shooters and community groups. All the community members are often informed of how mass shootings can provoke a zero-tolerance approach. The author also states how ending mass shootings can prevent new shooting-oriented suppression actions. Ideally, Gamble (2018) points out that the activities involved in the Operation Ceasefire Strategy have to be combined with different grassroots community activities and law enforcement strategies that will help combat mass shootings in the country.

Literature Review Synopsis

The next section of the literature review provides Operation Ceasefire as an effective strategy of dealing with the problem of mass shootings in the United States. I highlight different findings on the scope, elements, and how Operation Ceasefire is carried out. This helps in providing appropriate context to review both previous and existing literature and define Operation Ceasefire as one of the best strategies of reducing mass shootings in the United States. In a bid to put the study into context, Braga, Weisburd, and Turchan (2018) a definition of Operation Ceasefire, as well as its origin, is highlighted at the start of the subsection. The main significance of this definition is that it provides a clear analytical unit for empirical research. The importance of Operation Ceasefire as a warning to a potential criminal is also addressed by Fox et al. (2015). This is appropriate in establishing the reasons and my point of on Operation Ceasefire as an effectual strategy.

Researchers have been trying to find out how Operation Ceasefire works in the past few years. In this literature review, I present the scope of the strategy and several approaches involved when dealing with criminals. This helps in providing insights into the relationship between Operation Ceasefire and the wider subject area of mass shootings in the United States. I gathered information from different studies on how Operation Ceasefire is combined with law enforcement efforts to prosecute dangerous criminals, recover illegal firearm, promote public safety, and increase public awareness. It has been argued that Operation Ceasefire is based on the deterrence method, which is an effective method of persuading criminals to change their behaviors to escape the costs associated with mass shootings. The pulling levers approach from Petrosino et al. (2015) study is also addressed as a method of preventing mass shootings through Operation Ceasefire.

Several researchers carried out investigations of the impacts of Operation Ceasefire in major Cities like Boston. The first evaluation study was conducted by Herderon and Ozer (2017) found out a substantial decrease in the number of shooting in Boston District D-2. I also present a similar study conducted by Kurland (2018), which indicates a reduced amount of shots-fired calls for service in the city. Kurland’s study is also highlighted on how Operation Ceasefire has helped in recovering firearms in Boston City. All the evidence is connected around the idea of mass shootings in the United States and how Operation Ceasefire has helped tackle the problem. With more scholars accepting its effectiveness in the reduction of crime, the strategy is worthy of academic consideration, and more research should be conducted to come up with more ways of its execution. The evidence from different researchers also provides the validity of my points of view as well as appropriate ground for coming up with effective methods of addressing the problem.

From a wider perspective, this literature reviews addressees the use of direct law enforcement as the first element of Operation Ceasefire. A set of initiatives provided by Gamble (2018) are addressed to provide different methods of preventing mass shootings in the United States. In their study, the first initiative involves expanding the attention of federal, state, and local authorities’ attention on gun trafficking. Other initiatives highlighted by Project Safe Neighborhoods (2018) include attention on gun makers and shooter lifespan guns. Other researchers have also presented their initiatives, which include analyzing crime gun traces, restoring serial numbers, and focusing on traffickers who distribute firearms to mass shooters around the city. The initiatives highlighted by the researchers are important in providing law enforcement with better initiatives of dealing with mass shooters. It also provides future researchers with the foundation of building their own ideas and come up with appropriate strategies that can help in creating awareness around the country.

This literature review incorporates the main components of Operation Ceasefire and how they have helped reduce mass shootings in the United States. I present findings and conclusions from different researchers on the main tactics involved in this strategy, its basis, and the activities involved. The first study highlights the main tactics of Operation Ceasefire, which incorporates long sentences, a lot of warrants, deployment of Federal enforcement powers, and enforcing aggressive probation restrictions. The second study addresses how Operation Ceasefire is based on communications campaigns. The third study presents the activities involved in the program and how they are combined with law enforcement and the community as a way of reducing mass shootings in the country. Due to an abundance of findings and conclusions on the effectiveness of Operation Ceasefire in Combating mass shootings in the United States, there is a need for more research and information to help the law enforcement and the community understand how to use the strategy. This will not only enhance public safety, but it will also establish appropriate measures of tackling the problem in the United States.















Banks, G., Hadenfeldt, K., Janoch, M., Manning, C., Ramos, K., & Wolf, D. A. P. S. (2017). Gun violence and substance abuse. Aggression and violent behavior34, 113-116.

Braga, A. A. (2015). Police gang units and effective gang violence reduction. The handbook of gangs, 309-327.

Braga, A. A. (2017). Focused Deterrence and the Reduction of Gang Homicide. The Handbook of Homicide, 643-658.

Braga, A. A. (2017). Long-term trends in the sources of Boston crime guns. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences3(5), 76-95.

Braga, A. A., Weisburd, D., & Turchan, B. (2018). Focused deterrence strategies and crime control: An updated systematic review and meta‐analysis of the empirical evidence. Criminology & Public Policy17(1), 205-250.

Brandon, D. (2015). The Use and Effectiveness of Problem-Oriented Policing. Inquiries Journal7(04).

Brunson, R. K. (2015). Focused Deterrence and Improved Police-Community Relations: Unpacking the Proverbial Black Box. Criminology & Pub. Poly14, 507.

Fox, A. M., Katz, C. M., Choate, D. E., & Hedberg, E. C. (2015). Evaluation of the Phoenix TRUCE project: a replication of Chicago CeaseFire. Justice Quarterly32(1), 85-115.

Gamble, J. (2018). Menace II Society: A Social Learning Perspective. The Graduate Review3(1), 24-37.

Henderson, S. M., & Ozer, M. M. (2017). Strategies for Preventing Gang Violence: A Century of Evolving Programming and Research. The Wiley Handbook of Violence and Aggression, 1-11.

Henderson, S. M., Peterson, S. S., & Engel, R. S. (2017). Pulling Levers to Prevent Violence: “The Boston Miracle,” Its Adaptations, and Future Directions for Research. In Preventing Crime and Violence (pp. 281-296). Springer, Cham.

Kurland, J. (2018). ISCS502-18B (HAM). Hand10, 00.

Lab, S. P. (2018). Prevention and prevarication: the fits and starts of prevention in the USA. Crime Prevention and Community Safety20, 243-255.

Petrosino, A., Campie, P., Pace, J., Fronius, T., Guckenburg, S., Wiatrowski, M., & Rivera, L. (2015). Cross-sector, multi-agency interventions to address urban youth firearms violence: A rapid evidence assessment. Aggression and violent behavior22, 87-96.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN): Research Foundation. Michigan State University, 2018.

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