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Salisbury Police and Salisbury-Rowan NAACP relaunch Cease Fire initiative

Volunteers sought to serve as “De-Escalators”
Salisbury Police and the NAACP are seeking volunteers to serve as "de-escalators" in the...
Salisbury Police and the NAACP are seeking volunteers to serve as "de-escalators" in the community to curb violence.(Salisbury Police)
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 8:52 AM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes and Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black announced the resumption of the “Salisbury Cease Fire” initiative. The announcement was made Friday at 10:00 a.m. at Zion Hills Apartments.

Salisbury Cease Fire is an initiative by the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP and the Salisbury Police Department (SPD) to curb gun violence year-round in Salisbury.

Initially introduced in 2019, the “Summer Cease Fire” was a local initiative to encourage Salisbury youth, and in some cases adults, to stop gun-related assault during the summer months. The Salisbury Cease Fire initiative is patterned after the Cure Violence model of policing which identifies violence as a public health issue an develops data-driven strategies to combat the issue.

The “Salisbury Cease Fire” program will be held throughout the year in an effort to reduce gun violence in the community.

As part of the initiative, volunteers are needed to serve as “de-escalators.” SPD identifies areas where crimes are occurring and community members trained in de-escalating conflicts serve as interrupters to de-escalate situations before they turn violent. The initiative also aims at mobilizing communities to come together through activities to ensure the violence doesn’t return.

“The community has seen much success with the Cease Fire initiative reducing our violent crime issues,” said Stokes. “Our continuing partnership with NAACP has been a boon to both the Salisbury Police Department’s community engagement efforts and ability to effectively reduce crime in neighborhoods. We are pleased that we are able to continue on this journey of working together to reduce crime and build lasting relationships.”

To volunteer for Salisbury Cease Fire, complete a Salisbury Cease Fire de-escalator application online at //salisburync.gov/ceasefire. All volunteers will need to attend a mandatory training session. After successfully completing the training session, volunteers will be required to attend canvassing events and respond to situations with Salisbury Police Department. Applicants must be at least 21 years old to volunteer.

“While working to prevent crime in our City, we encourage everyone to join in and increase volunteer participation so together we can decrease gun violence,” said Black. “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.”

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