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How Trauma-Informed Training Attempts to Bridge the Gap Between Newark Residents and Cops

In 2020, the Newark police force fired their guns zero times. Tune in to learn how this N.J. city has been making inroads in police-resident relations.

March 2, 2022

Newark has, as many cities do, a notorious history of police brutality and violence. One can easily harken back to 1967 when police beat and unlawfully arrested a Black taxi driver; that act of state-sanctioned violence resulted in a weeklong uprising and the death of 26 people.

It may have taken more than 50 years, but Newark is making inroads to improving police-community relations. Trauma to Trust is an initiative of Equal Justice USA, a national organization working to break cycles of trauma and violence. Since launching in 2016, the city has seen a nearly 50% decrease in civilian complaints against officers who have taken the training. Now, Trauma to Trust is expanding to other cities in the country.

Joining us for this webinar will be Lionel LaTouche, Senior Project Director for Trauma to Trust. LaTouche helped the organization conduct 26 trainings in Newark that reached 500 individuals; 224 of them are police officers as of 2019. In this webinar, LaTouche will discuss how the workshops have facilitated improved relations between cops and community members.



Lionel LaTouche
Senior Project Director, Trauma to Trust

Lionel elevated to program director in 2022 as Trauma to Trust became a national initiative. He joined Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) in February 2018 to manage the community-police training program, then based in Newark, NJ. Lionel is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist, providing therapy to adolescents, adults, and families. He received a master’s degree in social work at New York University. Prior to EJUSA, Lionel served as an in-community therapist, providing services to adolescents and families in Bergen, Essex, and Hudson Counties of New Jersey.

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