Community activists call for an end to the violence in Newburgh
NEWBURGH – In the wake of the murder of Deandric Little, 29, of
the Town of Newburgh, who died after being shot in the City of Newburgh,
Newburgh’s Community Crime Intervention and Prevention Team (CCIP)
held a rally on lower Broadway Saturday to promote peace in the neighborhood.
Rasheda Worth, director of the cultural center and leader of the CCIP
Team, said this is something their team does, every time there is a violent
act, to help console the community and gain partners in their endeavor
to end community violence.
“What the CCIP team does is we have a shooting response, body to
body contact, every time something happens like that, we come out and
we just have a rally for peace,” said Worth. “What the family
chooses to do is what the family chooses to do, but as their job, they
come out and just make sure we’re talking to the crowd, getting
the crowd response, get them just to calm down, get the city to calm down
and just promote peace instead of violence.”
The CCIP Team is a state and federally funded program that facilitates
a hand- picked team of community members, as well as other volunteers,
who work parallel to local police, going into “hotspot” areas
of violence, meeting with parties involved in the violent acts and using
their first-hand experience to work behind the scenes to deescalate various
situations before they become violent. Since the team works independently
from the police, and many of the team members have experience with street
living and violence, they are many times allowed to access individuals,
as well as information, that the police cannot.
Deandric, the latest victim
of Newburgh’s violence
This ability, Worth said, is what makes their team so effective and so
far, people who would normally not been cooperative with the police have
been receptive to the team’s work.
However, Worth said she was a little disappointed at the community turnout
for Saturday’s rally and said, in the future, she hopes many more
residents will come out and show support for something that affects all
of their lives.
“I wish that there were more people. We had a very small number,”
said Worth. “It’s important. I think everybody should come
out and start supporting these types of events because it can happen to
any of us, and it has happened to a lot of us,” she said.
The CCIP Team encourages any members of the community who want to help,
to visit their Facebook page and volunteer.
Moving forward, the team has plans to do a unique form of violence intervention.
With the help of Elite Boxing Club, they are soon going to be putting
on “Hands up, guns down” bouts. The idea is that individuals
who would have otherwise handled their disputes in a potentially fatal
manner, will come out under the direction and supervision of professionals,
to settle their matters in the ring. Worth said this will be starting
in the next several weeks.