Reducing Acts of Violence Between Police and the Community –
It’s More than an Idea with Team WYSM
Keeping our youth connected to their community is an important mission-driven passion for the Sheriff’s Community Impact Program (SacSCIP). To ensure we engage youth where ever they may be on their journey into adulthood, it is essential we have programs and services in place that can help our most underserved youth feel safe and connected. The perception of safety and the feeling of belonging to something positive is foundational to a thriving community.
SacSCIP’S Executive Director Michael Saigeon is all about fostering strong partnerships with other community-based organizations that aren’t afraid to hit the pavement with ground-breaking, meaningful work. Why’d You Stop Me? (AKA WYSM), is taking the lead in breaking down barriers between police and the community.
What attracted Saigeon to WYSM, you ask? It all started in 2017, when he went through a Train-the-Trainer course — Saigeon said he was hooked then. Since that time, Saigeon has worked with WYSM’S highly energetic Founder and President Jason Lehman to train other cops throughout the State of California. “It has been an amazing experience to have the opportunity to not just train cops, but to really dive deeply into relevant, and very important topics such as implicit bias, among others,” Saigeon said.
WYSM’S mission is to reduce acts of violence between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Their depth and breadth of programming is light years ahead of so many other training programs, and it is worth mentioning that WYSM believes in training both cops and community members alike — it is truly empowerment training that is designed to save lives.
Saigeon, who is a retired Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department deputy, feels WYSM aligns well with SacSCIP’S mission because WYSM is about reducing fear, which is the root of violence. “What is compelling about WYSM training,” Saigeon said, “is that it forces cops to think about how community members may feel when they are contacted by law enforcement and conversely, how cops feel when they contact a community member — the emotions are virtually the same.” As Lehman states,”It was apparent that acts of violence between the community and police could be greatly reduced if both parties could step into each other’s shoes to see, hear and feel the power struggle we each faced.”
If you want to learn more about Team WYSM you can visit their website at Team WYSM or contact Mike Saigeon, who currently serves as WYSM’S Program Manager for the Train-the-Trainer courses.
Photos courtesy of Why’d You Stop Me?