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Star For Immediate Release
November 19, 2015

CONTACT: Mary Brandenberger
mary.brandenberger@usdoj.gov
202-514-5328


U.S. Department of Justice’s COPS Office releases short film highlighting St. Louis County school resource officer

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

ST. LOUIS –The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services today announced the release of Beyond the Badge: Profile of a School Resource Officer, the latest short film in The Working Group’s Not In Our Town series produced through COPS Office funding. The short film follows St. Louis County School Resource Officer Ronald Cockrell as he works to build relationships and mentor young people on how to deal with conflicts following a deadly police shooting in Ferguson. The filming took place in the aftermath of the shooting and protests that greatly impacted the St. Louis area.

The film is being released through a community screening and discussion in the St. Louis area. Officer Cockrell, the NIOT production crew, COPS Office leaders and youth involved in the film are participating in the launch.

“This effort with the Riverview Gardens School District and St. Louis County Police Department will help communities across the country identify the positive role school resource officers can and do play in improving relationships between students and law enforcement,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis.

The 17-minute film opens with Officer Cockrell and the Riverview Gardens School District safety and security director driving near the area where Michael Brown was shot, just six months after the shooting. In the video, the school resource officer works to bridge the gap between students and police officers. The film follows the officer during a school day at Central Middle School in Riverview Gardens School District in St. Louis. The story focuses on Officer Cockrell’s efforts to build relationships, listen to students address fear of the police in a school town hall, mentor young people on how to deal with conflicts, and work with his colleagues and students to respond and support a student whose father is murdered.

This is the fifth 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. In collaboration with the COPS Office, NIOT provides essential resources in 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 http://ric-zai-inc.com/ric.php?page=detail&id=COPS-CD050. The film can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHD2RQOKaLM.

The COPS Office, headed by Director Ronald Davis, is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office 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 the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.

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