Gun Violence Prevention and Intervention
For the safety and well-being of all residents and visitors, the City of Carbondale will continue to prioritize strategies and programs to reduce gun crimes and improve public safety in the community.
A recent analysis of the nature of gun violence (PDF) found that most gun-related incidents in Carbondale stem from a small number of repeat offenders whose crimes are concentrated in micro areas.
This report has helped City leadership and its community partners better understand the full scope of the issues, which will assist them as they tailor initiatives to curb gun violence and direct resources to individuals most at risk for involvement.
Carbondale will continue deploying the crime prevention methods and resources listed below and explore new strategies as needed.
What is the City of Carbondale doing to combat gun violence?
The City is very supportive of community organizations working with at-risk youth. In June 2022, Council approved more than $1.1M in American Rescue Plan funding for agencies specifically addressing gun violence and trauma. The agencies funded include the Stress and Trauma Treatment Center, Attucks Community Service Board, Boys and Girls Club of Southern Illinois, Carbondale United, the Dentmon Center, and the Carbondale Public Library. The City also allocates funding to support youth sports programs through Carbondale Junior Sports.
The Carbondale Police Department identifies hot spots where violent crime is trending and provides high-visibility enforcement efforts as a deterrent. Furthermore, officers work with community members to learn about suspicious activities and known offenders to employ crime prevention efforts.
Surveillance cameras have been installed in strategic areas throughout Carbondale's downtown. These cameras have assisted the Carbondale Police Department in several investigations, which have resulted in the arrest and prosecution of violent offenders.
Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) are installed at all Carbondale traffic signals and major entrances. ALPR systems capture license plate information to instantly compare plate numbers to a database of wanted criminals or persons of interest.
In 2021, the Carbondale Police Department began employing a full-time Mental Health Advocate to conduct follow-up service to clients involved in prior calls for service.
The Carbondale Police Department assisted in the creation of a Mental Health Panel to network with other agencies about high-risk residents.
The Carbondale Police Department helped establish the Youth Safety Panel in 2010, which meets monthly to identify at-risk youth in the community. In May 2021, the Carbondale Police Department, in collaboration with the Stress and Trauma Treatment Center, hired a Youth Advocate to provide services to at-risk youth in Carbondale through the schools and the community.
The City created and actively recruits for participation in the 5-On-5 Program, a community conversation initiative to help build trust and establish relationships between residents and the police department.
The City leads Crime Stoppers initiatives to monetarily incentivize tips that lead to arrests and prosecutions of violent offenders.
The Carbondale Police Department is upgrading its records management system to better analyze data related to violent crime.
Carbondale Police prioritize evidence processing of seized firearms to determine ownership and origin of purchase, which will help solve and prevent future felony crimes involving firearms.
The City's Building and Neighborhood Services division enforces building regulations to improve housing. Substandard housing has a direct and adverse effect on violent crime, so the City has continued to enhance its code enforcement tools to include a chronic nuisance ordinance, a safe housing addendum, and a vacant building ordinance.
The City of Carbondale will continue working closely with community institutions and local organizations to formulate plans to reduce gun violence, support those most at risk, and encourage community involvement to strengthen and improve our community.
The public is reminded of the following resources and support networks in Carbondale:
- Crime Stoppers: Crime Stoppers provides a unique way for citizens to provide information about criminal activity without providing their name, address, or telephone number. Additionally, Carbondale / SIU / Murphysboro / Jackson County Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the offender's arrest.
- Neighborhood Watch: The Neighborhood Watch Program empowers citizens to become active in community efforts through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups. Neighborhood Watch has long been called the extra "eyes and ears" of law enforcement. Still, the program has evolved into something more- a complex relationship that unites citizens, government leaders, and community policing officers as equal partners in crime prevention and community safety.
- Submit a Tip: If you have information about a crime, you can submit a tip through the police department's website. Each tip is reviewed and investigated by a police officer.
- Stay Informed – Sign up to receive press releases from the City of Carbondale and the Carbondale Police Department. We share public safety information and provide details on community events and programs. By staying informed, you may be able to help us when we request information from the public.
- Victim Advocacy Services - The Carbondale Police Department Victim Advocacy Program provides support and social services to victims and witnesses of crime. Services are provided primarily to victims of violent crimes and anyone who is a crime victim in need of assistance.
- BeSMART - The BeSMART campaign is an educational program that promotes responsible gun ownership to reduce deaths, injuries, and trauma that can result when a child or teen can access a gun. BeSMART for Kids addresses Best Practices, Types of Storage, and Resources for Secure Gun Storage.