ATLANTA, Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — An historic national ‘Faith & Blue’ alliance united law enforcement officers with community residents at more than 1,000 events across the country last weekend, furthering a major movement by clergy, community and law enforcement leaders to ease tensions and build relationships that can improve public safety in neighborhoods.
The remarkable collaboration is leveraging relationships within houses of worship to facilitate safer, stronger, more just communities. Activities included forums, town halls, unity walks/marches, picnics, athletic events, vigils and other activities. Cities involved included New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Boston and hundreds of others.
“For the past several years, we’ve seen enormous strains in the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color,” said Rev. Markel Hutchins, lead organizer of the 2020 National Faith & Blue Weekend and CEO of MovementForward, Inc. “That is a direct result of social injustices and the blinders worn on multiple sides of policing issues. This is a collaborative initiative. We want to help everyone to see the humanity in each other.”
Rev. Hutchins opposes movements to “defund the police”, saying communities in need of effective, equitable policing would be hurt the most. “Actually, we need more funding for law enforcement professionals so we can recruit better quality officers and improve their training,” he said. Citing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s approach, Rev. Hutchins said law enforcement and residents must “recognize the commonalities of our interests” and work together.
The Faith & Blue movement is supported by major law enforcement groups, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sheriff’s Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association and Fraternal Order of Police. The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are also partnering in the effort. Corporate sponsors include FirstNet Built with AT&T, Wrap Technologies and the Motorola Solutions Foundation.
“Finding common ground and ensuring justice for all starts with collaborative and respectful communication…” said Jason Porter, senior vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “Through its mission focus and highly diverse group of faith-based and policing organization leaders, this initiative is laser focused on facilitating positive and actionable community relations between citizens and law enforcement…it’s our honor to support this grassroots effort to strengthen police-community relations in neighborhoods across the country.”
Michael K. Frisby
[email protected] 202-625-4328
SOURCE MovementForward, Inc.