Law and health anti-crime efforts sometimes clash

 When the fight against crime involves two approaches, there can be turf problems.

Law enforcement officials with the No Violence Alliance (NoVA) depend on intelligence information to do their job, but health-based workers with Aim4PEACE are not sharing it.

The problem surfaced Monday when officials in both groups reported to the mayor and city manager.

The problem: Aim4PEACE is a city public health operation that practices client confidentiality. It mediates east side conflicts and provides education and resources to help at risk people.

NoVA is a law enforcement group that tries to reduce homicides by helping suspects escape crime with social services or jailing them if that fails.

Their model relies on extensive intelligence to link groups of suspects and interrupt their activities.

Mayor Sly James told Aim4PEACE officials, “You don’t share information with police – who are the bad actors?”

Police Major Mike Corwin said, “What we need is the intelligence…if we don’t connect all those dots, that’s where we’re going to fail.”

Police suggested that failing to share critical intelligence is why the 9/11 attacks were not stopped.

Rex Archer, city health director, said their health approach requires confidentiality, trust and relationship building.

Police Major Anthony Ell, who works with Aim4PEACE, said he believes the group can help police more by sharing general information on conflicts that is not confidential related to individuals.

Mayor James, an attorney, noted that defense lawyers must keep client information confidential but are required to report it if a client is about to commit a crime.

“There has to be a point when confidentiality ends because the confidentiality becomes secondary to public safety,” he said.

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