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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
The COPS Office and the world of policing suffered a great loss last month with the passing of Tawana Waugh Elliott. She was a genuine advocate for law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve and was able to build trust through her warmth and ability to listen.
Tawana worked at the COPS Office for nearly 20 years and had roles as varied as working in our Response Center, on our Communications team, in Training, with Police Practices and Accountability, and finally in Resources and Technical Assistance. She also served as an Engagement Editor on the Dispatch and in various working groups designed to promote collaboration around the office. Throughout her career here, she had a singular focus: How can we get our message out so we can best help the field? That determination and spirit motivated her to travel all over the country, meeting grantees and engaging law enforcement so that she could learn and teach us what communities and law enforcement need from the COPS Office to fulfill our mission of spreading the word and practice of community policing.
We will miss Tawana’s infectious laugh, funny stories, and upbeat personality. We will also miss her insightful wit as we sat around the conference table. She had an extraordinary way of distilling difficult concepts down to simple ideas and kept our focus on how to best serve our constituents.
All of us in the COPS Office, especially those of us who worked closely with her in her many roles, hope for peace for her husband and two daughters. Her memory serves as an inspiration for all to focus on the task of helping communities and law enforcement learn from one another with the same empathy and engagement that Tawana had.
Community Policing Dispatch Editorial Board
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