The Public Safety Coalition

A Peacebuilding Connections Project

In July of 2019 Bob Schlehuber and Calvin Jackson, with the support of community residents, non-profit organizations and local elected officials, began forming a Public Safety Coalition.

The Public Safety Coalition is an offshoot of the Ward 1 NEAR Act Study Group which worked to advance the implementation of Washington, D.C.’s Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act. The NEAR Act legislation embodies a comprehensive public health-based approach to violence prevention and intervention, addressing the root causes of violence and so-called “black market” activities in a long-term, sustainable way.

The NEAR Act Study Group and Public Safety Coalition have worked to bring together broad and diverse organizations from fields such as health, government, business, non-profits, education, civil society, arts, and labor along with new and long-time community residents. By facilitating connections between coalition members, organizations and individuals, we will create a more robust and proactive community that can sustainably manage and properly allocate resources for all residents to live in safety and without fear.

In order to engage study group and coalition members Peacebuilding Connections has held public meetings, canvassing outreach events, community forums with elected officials and candidates for political office, and luncheons.

Moving forward the Public Safety Coalition will hold monthly planning meetings and community canvassing events. Once every three months the coalition will hold a community event for both coalition members and the community at-large. The events will serve to connect and deepen relationships between coalition members, provide a space for coalition members to share resources with one another and the community, and catalyze the growth of the coalition through the events’ marketing.

If you live in Washington, D.C. and want to learn more about how you can join our community efforts in creating a safer, more equitable, and more just DC say hi to us today!

Next Public Meeting: Thursday, December 19th at District Bridges 6:30 pm-8 pm

Learn More About the N.E.A.R. Act

"The NEAR Act also specifically seeks to improve interactions between law enforcement and people with mental illness or substance use disorders by pairing police officers with mental and behavioral health clinicians for certain types of 911 calls. This approach aims to get people the medical care and social services they need without unnecessarily relying on the justice system and, in the process, subjecting people to the onslaught of collateral consequences that accompany an arrest and prosecution."

Brent J. Cohen, DC Policy Center Tweet

"Exposure to violence has been scientifically shown to increase a person’s risk of adopting violent behavior themselves, meaning that violent behavior transmits and spreads based on exposure – just like an epidemic disease."

Cure Violence

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