COPS & Community
Police Departments in Pennsylvania and the National Coalition Building Institute have been awarded grants to provide Communication Training for Law Enforcement and the Community. These grants have and are providing training in community leadership and communication. We conduct focus groups in the communities and invite residents to participate. As we develop the program, their input is vital. Our planning process brings together a broad cross-section of leaders from law enforcement, faith and community-based organizations, and local business communities. Leaders in the African American, Asian and Latino communities, as well other important and culturally diverse groups, are invited to help develop the training for the police departments that will improve police-community relations and develop a resource team for their communities.
The National Coalition Building Institute is a leadership development organization that has was established in 1984. The NCBI approach, which includes leaders from all sectors of society, proven leadership training, and an international network of local resource teams, has proven to be essential for long-lasting social and institutional change. The effectiveness of NCBI and its teams has resulted in numerous awards, favorable media coverage, and noteworthy testimonials. Visit the international website at www.NCBI.org.
After the focus groups are completed, we conduct workshops for police officers and residents.
The workshops provide a unique opportunity to develop new relationships and seek collaborative solutions to interactions between law enforcement and the community. By participating in the planning and assessment session and providing input, police departments and residents develop and learn the following:
• Recognize triggers and other obstacles that prevent building relationships with community members.
• Appreciate the power of personal stories from community members and to gain insight into their experiences;
• Listen for and respect the emotional content in what community members express.
• Use a practical conflict resolution process to find common ground in dealing with an issue that would otherwise lead to continuing tension;
• Acquire a toolbox of ways to improve interpersonal communication by decreasing defensiveness, with particular attention to tone of voice and body language.
With such broad cooperation, we can build bridges that will help increase safety for community members and law enforcement.