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Program Adopts Four More Cities for Violence Prevention Training

A privately funded program that aids community-based violence intervention efforts has grown from four to eight cities after seeing hopeful signs in the initial phases of its work. Four Black-led national organizations coordinate the consulting work that cities and their grassroots groups need to bring community-wide coordination to public safety, The Trace reports in a Q&A with one of the coordinators of the national Coalition to Advance Public Safety, Cities' United's executive director, Anthony Smith. (CJN reported on CAPS' work in Baton Rouge, La., one of its first four cities. The other initial CAPS cities are Baltimore, Indianapolis and Newark.) CAPS invests $500,000 in each city, sub-granted to community-based organizations. These funds are complemented by comprehensive training, technical assistance, and strategic hospital-based interventions, designed to build long-term capacities and sustainability over five years. The four cities newly admitted to the program are Atlanta, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Oakland.

CAPS consultants saw "a lot of good work happening," but the cities needed help to advance their programs, Smith said. "It was just not coordinated, not funded, and not recognized," he said. "There’s still a lot more coordination that needs to happen on the ground. How do we identify what’s going on, support the build-out and the capacity building? How do you make sure that that’s happening so this work can have a longer, bigger impact, but also be more sustainable?" Each city and its community groups need different kinds of help, depending on their stage of development and funding. The same level of commitment and planning that goes into policing is needed in community-based efforts to reduce violence, Smith said. "Every city you go into, they’ll tell you, 'This is how many officers we’re supposed to have,' because somebody’s got some calculation, and then how many they don’t have, right? But they always get a budget for how many they’re supposed to have because they’re hoping they can get those people. I would love for us to get to a place like that."


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