Building partnerships between Cops and Communities
The “One Congregation One Precinct” (OneCOP) initiative, MovementForward’s signature program, facilitates positive, ongoing partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and diverse congregations of every faith tradition. This includes organizing various crime and violence prevention/solving efforts, hosting public safety briefings, providing cultural and sensitivity training, conducting officer appreciation events, holding community safety workshops, and hosting forums focused on bettering the relationship between cops and citizens.
In light of tensions currently felt between many civilians and law enforcement professionals, leaders in every relevant sector must work cooperatively to improve and strengthen relationships between officers and citizens BEFORE an explosive scenario occurs in their local communities. The purpose of this innovative effort is to curb mounting tensions between citizens and law enforcement officers by building partnerships and mutual understanding, as well as establishing a structured framework for the public to assist law enforcement efforts. Most major national law enforcement groups (e.g.: National Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, National Police Foundation, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, et.al.) are collaborating with and have signed on to participate in OneCOP.
“No one benefits from screaming at each other. We only benefit when we have the courage to talk to each other. A lot of the protests and demonstrations, while passionate and understandable have fallen short of actually being curative. “Rev. Markel Hutchins
The One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) model is a proactive rather than reactive approach to addressing tensions around police-involved incidents as well as ongoing crime and violence in local communities. OneCOP has several objectives that incorporate the six pillars outlined by the former Task Force on 21st Century Policing of the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Community Oriented Policing Services:
- Improve public safety through collaboration and information sharing to prevent, combat and solve crimes by tapping into the varied resources of faith-based institutions
- Increase community engagement with patrol-level police officers, via congregations, resulting in decreased bias and increased familiarity, mutual respect and trust
- Proactively create a direct link between law enforcement executives and community leaders in an effort to give voice to growing public concerns relative to policing.