Traditionally, public safety has been the domain of law enforcement. When crime and violence break into our lives, we tend to look to law enforcement for reduction strategies. However, increasingly over the past few decades, research has shown that you can't have sustained, long term reductions in violence and crime without engaging residents in the public safety process.That's to say that you can't have "public safety" without the "public".
For the past two years, the Newark Community Street Team (NCST), the Mayor's community-based public safety initiative, has been working to help reduce violence and crime by hiring non-traditional leaders and training them in conflict resolution, mediation skills, and restorative practices that recognize that violence has roots in decades of unaddressed trauma.These local leaders reach out to prevent retaliation and to
intervene in instances of violence that can quickly escalate and lead to loss of life.
NCST provides "Safe Passage" corridors at schools in the South and West wards, two hours before and after school.Street Team members intervene and mediate conflict among students at West Side, University, Weequahic high schools, and Speedway Academies. During the 2016-17 school year, Street Team members have mediated or intervened in 24 incidents at these schools.
NCST hosts community public safety roundtable discussions in Newark's South Ward where local residents, Newark police, and other stakeholders come together to discuss how the community can best partner with local law enforcement. One of the most exciting recent developments is asoon-to-be-launched Hospital-Based Intervention Program at University Hospital that will provide high-risk intervention and support services for black males, age 18-30, who enter the hospital through the Trauma Center.This is the first