Project TURN Will Provide Trauma Training and Services from National and Local Leaders to Community Intervention Workers
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who serves as Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee, and the City of Los Angeles’ GRYD Office (Gang Reduction and Youth Development) today unveiled a public safety initiative that will provide much-needed training and support to community intervention workers (CIWs) who respond to — and just as importantly, personally absorb — trauma in our communities with an unarmed model built on trust and cultural competency. Local residents and law enforcement rely on the services of CIWs for community engagement, gang prevention, gang intervention, and violence interruption while the critical work of CIWs frees up law enforcement to focus on crime and also reduces the chances of violent interactions with officers.
“Community-based public safety workers are regularly exposed to high trauma environments and providing comprehensive training and support is an important tenet of how our City will deliver transformative change and strengthen our public safety response and create more equitable investment in a community based public safety model,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “Since becoming the first Latina to Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee, I have made it my priority to innovate and deploy programs that heed the calls for reform and create a safer Los Angeles.”
Through the initiative, named “Project TURN (Therapeutic Unarmed Response for Neighborhoods)”, CIWs will receive comprehensive physical trainings integrated with emergency support from the Community Based Public Safety Collective (the Collective), in partnership with LA-based The Reverence Project and the BUILD Program. Examples of the assistance CIWs will receive are as follows: traditional talk therapy, yoga, meditation, healing circles, and other therapeutic healing modalities.
“Unaddressed personal and community trauma is one of the causes of violence, and the work that community based public safety professionals do often involves helping individuals address and heal from trauma,” said Aqeela Sherrills, co-founder of the Collective. “The fact that Los Angeles is also willing to support the individuals who do this work shows a great understanding about the challenging work they do and how it impacts their personal health and well-being.”
There are currently over 100 CIWs in the City of Los Angeles. The first cohort of CIWs is immediately benefiting from Project TURN by participating in a three-day trauma informed training. Later in the month, the initiative will provide conflict resolution training to the same GRYD cohort.
Funding for Project TURN was requested through a motion by Councilwoman Rodriguez in January 2022.
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As the City’s hub for gang reduction and intentional youth development, the GRYD Office contracts with twenty-five (25) community-based agencies that provide direct prevention and intervention services to clients and their families. GRYD was created in 2007 to establish data-driven gang prevention and intervention programs in communities most impacted by gang violence in the City of Los Angeles.
About the Collective
The Community Based Public Safety Collective is a collective of experts in building neighborhood leadership to advance safety — the groups on the ground that do the work day in and day out to mediate conflict, get people in crisis into supportive services and put youth on a path away from violence and to stability.
They represent and support the dozens of small, nonprofit, community-led grassroots organizations that, for decades, have been helping to forge peace, with little support or official recognition from policymakers, elected officials or funding agencies. Investing in community-based public safety leaders is the key difference-maker in stopping violence, ending mass incarceration and setting the nation on a transformational course toward a shared safety model rooted in systems of care, healing and community self-determination.
The Collective’s members are the premier national experts in the field. They convened to preserve the integrity of the model and highlight Black and Brown practitioners’ proven practices.