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Star For Immediate Release
June 25, 2015

CONTACT: Mary Brandenberger

U.S. Department of Justice's COPS Office releases short film to address community response to incidents of hate

Film is the fourth in a series of videos produced through COPS Office grant funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services today announced the release of Not In Our Town: A Bowling Green Legacy, the latest short film in the Not In Our Town (NIOT) series from the COPS Office. The short film shows how communities can come together to respond to incidents of hate, as well as strengthen trust between community stakeholders to prevent hate from happening in their town.

The 14-minute film opens with the head basketball coach at Bowling Green State University in Ohio discovering “white power” symbols on the driveway of his home. A group of African American students from Bowling Green State University then go to a local bar, and racially charged tweets surface on social media sites as a result. While these incidents leave many in the community feeling threatened and unsafe, they also spark a powerful coalition of students, administrators, civic leaders and law enforcement leaders to take a unified stand.

“This film offers a compelling depiction of a town that unites in the wake of a terrible incident,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. “Bowling Green serves as a great example for other communities facing similar challenges of racial tension and intolerance. When law enforcement and the public take a stand against hate together, communities can be healed and transformed.”

This is the fourth film in the COPS Office and Not In Our Town Working Together to Build Safe and Inclusive Communities project that was funded through 2012 Community Policing Development funds. The first three films – Waking In Oak Creek, Lessons from a Hate Crime Detective, and A Prosecutor's Stand – can all be ordered through the COPS Office Resource Center.

NIOT is a national movement to stop hate, address bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities for all. NIOT harnesses the power of film and on-line media to engage local communities on the ground in sustainable, long-term action. Racial, religious, ethnic, and gender divisions can undermine democracy and prevent people from participating in civic life. NIOT works to address these issues and create community-wide solutions.

The COPS Office provides funding to NIOT to engage in the critical and relevant work of uniting communities after hate crimes. NIOT provides essential resources in the areas of hate crime prevention and engagement of diverse communities by creating new resources and building relationships with law enforcement and community partners nationwide. For more information or to order a copy of the film, visit

The COPS Office, headed by Director Ronald Davis, is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, COPS has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 126,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, and technical assistance. For additional information about COPS, please visit