NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A national organization, specialized in reducing crime, spent the week in North Charleston to share strategies with the community.
Tio Hardiman is the founder of the Chicago-based non-profit, Violence Interrupters Inc. He led a 40-hour training session for North Charleston leaders, police officers, and non-profits.
“The reason I’m here is because violence is not just restricted or contained to cities like Chicago, or Baltimore, or New York. Charleston has their fair share of gun violence as well,” Hardiman explained.
The class learned techniques on addressing gun violence, trauma, stress management, anger management and structural violence. Hardiman uses what is called the Public Health Model.
“We educate on the Public Health Model which includes a strong campaign of working with law enforcement, working with faith-based leaders, and working with the community at large. We train in the areas of data, quantitative and qualitative data. Measuring our success of the program,” said Hardiman.
Many of the attendees, like Ronald Smith, know all too well the impacts of gun violence. Smith founded Positive Vibes Ronjanae Smith Inc., after losing his daughter. Nonprofit dedicated to stopping gun violence preps for one-year anniversary
“It still hurts me right now because coming around, it’s on the second year of my daughter getting killed. And this class has taught me to try to push harder and save these young men in the community,” said Smith.
The group is ready to put their newly learned skills to work in the streets of North Charleston.
“I think, as long as we have the backend and the support and the financial resources, we can make some changes happen,” said Ta’Landa Cummings, the Executive Director of the Vanderhorst Group Community Enrichment and Empowerment Program.
North Charleston Police said they will meet with the non-profits next week to discuss how to implement the new techniques.