The COPS Office is pleased to announce a new collaboration with The Working Group-a non-profit media company that created the Not In Our Town (NIOT) series and campaign.
This joint venture aims to (1) further integrate law enforcement leaders into the movement against hate and intolerance, (2) improve police-community relations nationwide, and (3) institutionalize model community policing practices that help prevent hate crimes and enhance safety and inclusion for all residents.
Hate crime laws were intended to not only deter and counteract hate-motivated activity but also aid in the victim's recovery. While public awareness of these laws has improved over the years, many people still don't understand the need to differentiate hate-motivated incidents from other types of crimes. People may also hold an overly simplistic popular notion of what a hate crime is. Furthermore, law enforcement officials may not fully understand the need for reporting hate crimes and bias incidents, and why accessible methods for community members to inform police about attacks are vital to overall civic health.
The NIOT campaign is dedicated to helping law enforcement better integrate into its communities, drawing on the power of real stories, concrete tactics, and increased communication. NIOT's chief aim is to help law enforcement recognize hate and bias crimes and create mechanisms for law enforcement to work jointly with local civic and citizen partners to prevent hate and bias and address the underlying tensions that may lead to these crimes.
In the next two years, NIOT will create a compendium of tools to help law enforcement, victims, and the community become involved and empowered in the prevention and response to hate crimes. Some tools to look forward to include the following:
Not In Our Town Law Enforcement Network Leaders
A cadre of 50 NIOT law enforcement network leaders will act as resources and mentors within the greater law enforcement community. These leaders will be featured on the new online resource hub, NIOT.org/COPS, as key players in the Not In Our Town network who are available to other law enforcement professionals seeking information and guidance on reducing hate crimes, working effectively with communities, and implementing good community policing practices.
Leaders from every region of the country will expand the reach of NIOT's initiatives by hosting screenings of the films, holding guided discussions, working with school administrations, and introducing films and resources to colleagues and law enforcement peers in and around their communities.
The leaders will be expected to do the following:
All leaders will receive the necessary tools and materials to help promote the project, screenings, and discussions they will lead. Distance learning on how to mentor peers and respond to requests for assistance will be provided.
Join the Network
NIOT and the COPS Office are looking for some good Leaders. If you are willing to step up and take part in this project, please contact COPS Office Program Manager Nazmia Alqadi.
For more information, please visit the COPS Office resource page on NIOT.
This project is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2012-CF-WX-K021.