High Point  Community Against Violence (HPCAV) is a non-profit organization that works with the Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) to reduce violence within our community. They engage violent crime offenders in order to help them redirect their lives in a positive manner.

The partnership between law enforcement agencies and the community began in 1997. By 1998, HPCAV began using a strategic, data-driven approach that had been successful in Boston. With some adjustments to account for the size of High Point, the strategy proved equally successful for our community. Over the years, the strategy has been readjusted several times as they target street-level drug dealings, youth gang violence and, most recently, domestic violence. Because police efforts have been so successful in reducing violence in High Point, other departments around the country are modeling their programs after High Point’s, according to Captain Timothy Ellenberger, who is the head of the Major Crimes Division at the High Point Police Department.

What we have found is that it’s not necessarily the severity of the punishment, but rather the certainty of the punishment that gets the deterrence effect for us,” said Ellenberger.  High Point Police formed the Violent Crimes Task Force during the late ’90s, and, since then, violent crimes have decreased by 65 percent.

HPCAV believes that little by little people change because of telling the truth, training, talking, gaining confidence and learning useful skills. Jim Summey, executive director of HPCAV, wants the community to recognize that reducing violent crime is a large effort that requires community involvement, accurate policing, real data, real opportunity, and help that matters. High Point Community Foundation has played a critical role in funding the program over the years. He hopes others will step up to help out.

The High Point Community Against Violence received the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award early in 2015 for the state of North Carolina.

If you would like to get involved in their efforts, you can visit www.hpcav.com.