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The City of Danville’s community policing and intervention strategies for tackling gang violence were recognized earlier this month with a “Spirit” award at the annual International Gang Specialist Training Conference in Chicago.
This award calls attention to “promising initiatives in gang prevention, gang intervention, and gang counseling.”
“It was an honor to receive the award,” said Robert David, youth services and gang violence prevention coordinator for the City of Danville. “It says a lot about the work we are doing in Danville.”
Danville Police Chief Scott Booth joined David at the conference in presenting the strategies outlined in the book they co-authored, “Bigger than Black and Blue: Candid Conversations on Race, Equity and Community Collaborations.”
The book, which was published by Amazon and released in December, breaks down Booth's and David's perspective on relationships between the African American community and law enforcement in Danville.
At the conference, Booth and David highlighted how community policing and intervention efforts in Danville complement one another, with residents, civic organizations, and government agencies operating in unison and in ways that go beyond traditional policing.
“Community collaboration and buy-in are important,” David says. “When everyone buys in and is willing to have those tough conversations that you need to have, then it humanizes everyone. There is no special language you have to have to treat each other with respect.”
The National Gang Crime Research Center conducts the annual conference and offers workshops and presentations from many experts in the field of gangs and gang violence.