Dean Isabella and Jose Rodriguez grew up on the western edge of Providence, several decades apart. The area has long dealt with high crime rates. Isabella now works there as a city police officer. That’s how he met Rodriguez, a teenager in the neighborhood who was also an active gang member.
Years later, their paths crossed again when Rodriguez began working to stop gang violence with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence. Isabella and Rodriguez describe how a kid from the neighborhood and a cop became close friends as part of our series “Speaking Across Difference.”