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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Two new documentaries and supporting publications were released this month by the COPS Office and Not In Our Town (NIOT), an organization that uses film, social media and community engagement to support community participation in vibrant and diverse communities.
The documentary follows the Arlington Texas Police Chief and his department as they work with youth and community leaders to heal their city after three crises rocked the community: the tragic death of a high school football player in gang related violence; the killing of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer; and the ambush killings of police offcers in Dallas, TX. The film shows how those relationships play out in civic life through, community gatherings, protests and faith vigils, departmental training sessions, and Texas high school football.
The accompanying COPS publication is Arlington, TX: A Community Policing Story; A Guide for Law Enforcement and Community Screenings. This guide is designed as a tool for law enforcement and community groups to facilitate screenings and discussions of the NIOT film, the guide provides information on how agencies work together with personnel and community members to initiate conversations about trust building, procedural justice, and institutional legitimacy in order to improve relationships between police and the communities they serve.
The City of Camden New Jersey Police Department was laid off in 2013 after years of mistrust, violent crime, and devastating poverty in the city, to be replaced by Chief Thomson, his command staff and officers of the Camden County Police Department. The documentary follows Chief Thomson and his department as they work to implement community policing reforms in Camden while reducing dramatically high crime rates and helping to reform the city in partnership with community members.
The accompanying COPS publication is Camden's Turn: A Story of Police Reform in Progress; A Guide for Law Enforcement and Community Screenings. This guide is designed as a tool for law enforcement and community stakeholders to facilitate and provide information about community-oriented policing; law enforcement-community relations; building collaborative public safety partnerships; and engaging citywide resources to better support community members' specific needs.
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