Baton Rouge, La. – A group of residents known as the Baton Rouge Street Team is currently undergoing training to learn how to effectively address violence in the 70802 and 70805 ZIP codes. The pilot program will consist of trusted community members with the necessary relationships needed to de-escalate conflicts and steer residents in crisis towards available resources.
The Baton Rouge Street Team is a community-based public safety model partnering with Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s Safe Hopeful Healthy BR Initiative. Training and technical assistance are being conducted by nationally renowned interventionist Aqeela Sherrills, executive director of the Community Based Public Safety Collective and president of the Newark Community Street Team. Also conducting training is Dr. Aquil Basheer, who is the founder of the Professional Community Intervention Training Institute (PCITI). Coordinating the initiative is Sateria Tate, founder of AGILE Planning Solutions.
“Our community is at a cross roads when it comes to addressing violence — community partnerships are essential in our path to peace. The Baton Rouge Street Team will utilize relationship-based strategies to intervene, prevent, and mediate conflicts to a peaceful resolution,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.
The Baton Rouge Street Team has begun its pilot program this summer in the 70802 and 70805 ZIP codes. The team consists of five High-Risk Interventionists, four Community Navigators, and one Program Coordinator.
“Law enforcement is always working to proactively address violence in our community, but the most effective method is to empower our residents to address the underlying factors before violence occurs. I’m confident the Baton Rouge Street Team will be a strong partner in our mission to create a more peaceful community,” said BRPD Chief Murphy Paul.