CrimeStoppers talks conflict resolution in response to Montgomery violence

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery’s police chief points to a lack of conflict resolution as part of the the city’s crime problem. Over the weekend, police responded to more than half a dozen shootings.

Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert says crimes being committed in the capital city are rarely random.

“It’s not just random crime. It’s folks that have some type of interaction with the folks that they’re involved with,” said Albert.

And in the case of nine separate shootings that took place over the weekend, Albert points to a common denominator behind the violence.

“This weekend showed us how folks are lacking with conflict resolution, said Albert. “There’s no reason that you can’t regroup, hit the reset and then re-address it. But folks are not doing that.”

Tony Garrett, executive director of Central Alabama CrimeStoppers, says conflict resolution is a powerful tool that can de-escalate a potentially violent situation.

“With that three-way approach, we’ve been pretty successful as far as communication, listening and compromise,” said Garrett

Since 2000, CrimeStoppers has hosted peer mediation in schools to teach students how to talk through situations instead of using violence. Garrett says COVID-19 derailed the training and was a setback on the progress they were making.

“That was about a 90% success rate. Second approach to the program that we were planning was to talk to the parent and give them that same type of training,” said Garrett.

No matter how big or small the conflict, you must make it a priority to focus on finding a peaceful solution, according to Garrett.

“If you start off aggressive, then more than likely it’s going to end in a violent nature. If you start off calm, more than likely you’re going to end the conversation in a calm manner,” said Garrett.

Garrett says they plan to ramp the trainings back up this fall. They plan on offer the peer mediation training to the law enforcement agencies. In the future, neighborhood associations and other programs could potentially take advantage of this training.

If you have questions about peer mediation you can contact CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP.

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