This is a preliminary analysis to better understand the pattern of homicides in Detroit as part of a decade long view (2003 – 2013). Critical research and innovative programs have called for utilizing public health and epidemiological approaches to homicide and violence prevention (Cure Violence). The Detroit Youth Violence Prevention (DYVP) initiative reports that 87 percent of the 1,200 Detroit high school students surveyed said a family member or friend had been shot, murdered or disabled as a result of violence in the previous 12 months. The Detroit News has a long 2010 article on the effects of gun violence on children that is definitely worth a read.
It appears that homicides in 2003 follow a disease diffusion model where there are a few focal points that spread out into the rest of the city while continuing to be hot spots throughout the year. In 2003, 366 people were murdered with July being the worst month followed by August and September.
Detroit has reported early success with the ShotSpotter technology that helps triangulate gunshots and sends officers into communities to talk with neighbors.
The decade long analysis is in the works. Read more: Homicide, Gun Violence, and Epidemiology in Detroit