“We teach people how to assess a situation, how to staff it in terms of being able to respond, and also how to consistently, like kind of debrief a dynamic so you can approach it properly and deescalate the situation,” said Aqeela Sherrills, the Executive Director of the Community based Public Safety Collective. Sherrills has helped found Street Teams to help deescalate potentially violent situations in both Newark, New Jersey and in Los Angeles. He said the teams have experienced success, seeing large decreases in violent crime in both communities.
“It’s about deploying a crisis intervention team,” Sherrills said. “The people are trained, they’re not just regular people. They are the people they serve, they grew up in these neighborhoods, they know the element, and that’s what makes the difference. It’s the relationship.”