CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Community leaders plan to take a different approach to try to stop the gun violence, especially because there’s been an uptick in shootings this year. 

C-U Area Project will hold a “violence interrupters” training for anyone who wants to be a part of what they hope will be a solution to curbing the violence. It’s part of a national anti-violence project. The Ceasefire Violence Interrupters model has been used in cities nationwide. The director, Tio Hardiman, will be there to head up the professional training. 

It’ll focus on de-escalation, mediation and conflict resolution tactics as well as restoring relationships.  There have been seven shooting homicides in Champaign this year. C-U Area Project wants to bring in twelve new outreach members and that’s what this training is for.

Jobie Taylor says, “We have to get in front of the violence before it even occurs. We’re trying to prevent deaths, prevent shootings. So if we hear information through Facebook or through word of mouth then that’s when we send our outreach workers out and they try to deescalate situations or mediate situations.” 

The Champaign Urbana Public Health District is backing up the effort. The event will be there Friday and Saturday. More than 30 people have signed up so far, but there’s still room for more. 

If interested, contact Jobie Taylor: (217) 417 – 9683