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Building Bridges
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Dear <<First Name>>,

Over this last month, we've continued working with our partners on the ground to tackle some of America's most intractable issues. Building trust between law enforcement officers and those they serve is vital to public safety and the following items are helping us meet the challenge of developing sustainable solutions. 
Stockton Police and Community Open Dialogue
In separate op-eds published in the Stockton Record on March 4, Police Chief Eric Jones and community member Tashante McCoy-Ham described the listening sessions our team facilitated between the police department and representatives from various community groups. 

As Chief Jones explained, he set out to better understand why many citizens distrust the police. Now that the department has systematized the listening process, Jones aims to "actually apply components of what has been learned into practice to ensure voice has been given." This effort encompasses Operation Ceasefire, an ongoing gun violence reduction intervention, as well as the SPD's three-year Strategic Policing Plan, which is grounded in procedural justice and police legitimacy. 

McCoy-Ham, for her part, offered the perspective of someone who has "lost countless friends and family members to senseless violence in Stockton." What most impressed her about the listening sessions was Chief Jones' willingness to acknowledge the harm SPD has been party to and his commitment to a more collaborative vision for public safety. 
 
Focus on Community Engagement in Minneapolis
The Minneapolis Police Department created a Division of Community and Collaborative Advancement that will house and coordinate all community engagement efforts. This unit will allow the department to maximize impact and ensure that community needs are being met and that the department is making progress towards its goal of improving relationships.
 
Improving Relationships in Birmingham
National Initiative staff members were in Birmingham, Alabama from March 14 to 16 to meet with law enforcement and community leaders. Specifically, our team held meetings with Chief of Police AC Roper and community members to discuss the reconciliation process and the construction of a community advisory board to serve the interests of the people and law enforcement agencies of Birmingham. 

Additionally, we held a listening sessions with local domestic violence advocates to discuss plans for building trust specifically between law enforcement and domestic violence survivors. Incidents of domestic violence can be particularly sensitive and challenging for law enforcement, and we are proud to devote the necessary time, attention, and resources to improving how these cases are handled. 

Finally, our staff attended a forum dedicated to discussing issues of importance to young men of color in Birmingham. The conversations brought together various voices to focus on finding solutions to local issues that consistently plague this population. 

Improving trust between law enforcement and those it serves demands operating on parallel tracks and identifying nuances that impact different groups of people. This trip to Birmingham serves as a microcosm of some of the key challenges the National Initiative is taking on in all of our pilot cities. 
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquincy Prevention:
Supporting the Role of Law Enforcement in Juvenile Justice Reform
In July, the Coalition of Juvenile Justice (CJJ) will host a two-day training and conversation for youth from around the country to share their thoughts with American law enforcement leaders. The deadline to apply for this event is April 7, 2017
July 18-20, 2017
Charlotte, North Carolina
Apply Now
This is a great opportunity to bolster our trust-building work, particularly with respect to our focus on relationships between youth and police. We encourage you to share this with your professional networks, and to reach out to young people who you believe would be interested in this event.

We hope and believe that this forum will highlight and inform our strategy around youth-police engagement in each of our six pilot sites.
National Initiative for Building Community Trust & Justice
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National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice · John Jay College of Criminal Justice · 524 West 59th Street | BMW Building, Suite 1140 · New York, NY 10019 · USA

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