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Gun violence intervention training begins for TRUCE program

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BATON ROUGE - Members of local law enforcement took part in the first day of gun violence intervention or GVI training. Aptly named "Operation Ceasefire", and also referred to as TRUCE, the program is meant to replace BRAVE.

"I believe that TRUCE certainly has an opportunity to pick up where brave left off," said Mayor Sharon Weston Broome.

Unlike BRAVE, TRUCE works solely by targeting small groups -- which they are careful not to call gangs. 

"The violence, the shooting and the homicides in Baton Rouge are being driven by a small number of people who are engaging in violence and they are connected to one another in groups," explained Meaghan McDonald with National Network for Safe Communities.

GVI wants law enforcement to communicate directly with these group members, letting them know there will be no tolerance for violence.

"It's engagement from the community directly with individuals, telling them that we want them to be safe, and lastly it's an offer of help and support from community stakeholders," said McDonald, but even when BRAVE was functioning, homicide rates were high.

According to its own statistics, GVI implementation in Boston, lead to a 63% reduction in youth homicide. Similar results were seen in Stockton, California, which had a 42% reduction in gun homicide and in New Orleans, with a 32% decrease in group-member involved homicides. 

The mayor, district attorney and police chief are all on board with the new program. 

"All of the people who live in those communities, they want the crime out, just as much as we do. So, when we concentrate our efforts on that small group of individuals and let intelligence drive us, then it's a win win situation," said Chief Murphy Brown. 
Training will continue, but the city will need to raise funds from private investors to sign a two-year training program. 


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