COPS Office Announces Three New Partnerships to Advance Community Policing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced today the creation of three new partnerships that will all contribute to the advancement of community policing and serve as vital resources for law enforcement agencies across the country. The new partnerships are with film production company Big Mouth Productions, and two non-profit training organizations – Center for Council (a project of Community Partners) and Out to Protect, Incorporated.
“These new partnerships represent another strong example of the work of the COPS Office to help provide much-needed resources to law enforcement in a variety of critical areas,” said Robert Chapman, Acting Director of the COPS Office. “From using innovative tools to train officers in the dominant issues currently facing law enforcement, to emphasizing the importance of compassion in officer health and wellness, to supporting the establishment and enhancement of LGBTQ Liaison Units in state and local law enforcement, these unique partnerships demonstrate what can happen when the principles of community policing are utilized in training and technical assistance.”
These new partnerships cover a wide range of topic areas and will assist law enforcement in a variety of ways:
- Big Mouth Productions is an award-winning, independent documentary film production company that produced a 2018 documentary titled “Charm City.” The impact of the film was amplified when it was used as a training tool for the Baltimore Police Department, allowing law enforcement to better understand the challenges of the community, while also showing the difficulties of working in a department with enormous staffing and funding challenges. This successful training demonstrated the potential for using documentaries as training tools. Building on that experience, this partnership and its goal of curating of a slate of films and supporting materials for agency and community use will provide an opportunity to realize the role that film/documentaries can play in building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, with a focus on critical topics in law enforcement training.
- Center for Council is a nonprofit organization that offers award-winning programs that teach self-awareness and reinforce skills to manage stress, cultivate positive communication, and strengthen community relations. Their POWER (Peace Officer Wellness, Empathy, and Resilience) Training Program focuses on stress management and self-care techniques for law enforcement officers, building skills to communicate with more compassion, and effectively de-escalate conflict. Officers learn ways to skillfully integrate practices into their day-to-day work to enhance self-awareness and well-being and build more positive relationships within their agencies and with the communities they serve. The COPS Office and Center for Council will work together to increase law enforcement awareness of the intersectionality of wellness, procedural justice, and community building.
- Out to Protect, Incorporated (OTP) provides training and other resources that create greater awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues in law enforcement. The organization maintains a national network of LGBTQ Liaison Officers, offers no-cost, online LGBTQ and hate crimes training for officers, and provides scholarships to law enforcement recruits who are “out” as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, or who are straight allies. Under the partnership, COPS and Out to Protect will work collaboratively to support the strengthening of LGBTQ Liaison Units in state and local law enforcement agencies; further the expertise of Liaison Officers; and create greater awareness throughout the law enforcement community about the contributions that Liaison Units can make to improving public safety and reducing victimization.
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to organization for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. 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 135,000 officers.