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Crime & Justice

Salisbury Police Expands De-Escalation Program After Seeing Initial Success

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The Salisbury Police Department is expanding a program to reduce violence because it’s been so successful.

The Salisbury Cease Fire initiative, once a summer program, will now take place all year. The program encourages residents to participate in conflict resolution to slow down gun violence.

It includes members of the Salisbury community who volunteer to perform conflict resolution and de-escalation tactics before the police need to be involved.

Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black says that the partnership between the police and the community is beneficial for everyone.

"It was a need to bring the police department into this," Black said. "The Salisbury-Rowan NAACP will continue to fight for equality for all and hold law enforcement agencies accountable. In addition, we as residents must also hold each person in our neighborhood accountable by working to prevent and report incidents, and contacting de-escalators to assist with conflicts. When we mobilize and work together, we can ensure that gun violence in our community will be at an all-time low.”

In the program’s first year, the police department reported gun violence went from 39 shootings in 2018 to 22 the following year.

The Salisbury Police and the Rowan-Salisbury NAACP are partners in the initiative.

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