One of MovementForward/OneCOP’s core objectives is to reinforce community connections. This approach led us to embrace community policing as the foundation of our work on criminal justice. As we built out this work, we identified houses of worship as a key means to connect law enforcement officers and the public. There are roughly sixty-five million people who participate weekly in their respective house of worship, and this population represents the diversity of backgrounds of the country. OneCOP has already been bridging connections between houses of worship and law enforcement in Atlanta, Athens (GA), Indianapolis, and Portland (OR), and we are now ready to create a broad national movement that strengthens and highlights these collaborations.
To help build this movement, we are pleased to announce that in October 2020 we will be holding the first annual National Faith and Blue Weekend. During the weekend, houses of worship and local law enforcement officers will collaborate on activities including picnics, community service projects, forums, and other mutual efforts. Anyone can organize an activity, and we will be providing a suite of resources to assist including a downloadable toolkit with event planning templates and promotion activities, social media support, and a website where organizers can register their event and community members can find an event nearby.
This event has been endorsed by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and by every major law enforcement organization, and planning has commenced. The website will go live in July, and we encourage you to join our National Faith and Blue Weekend e-newsletter to get updates as resources become available. We are excited about the kickoff of this national event, and look forward to the hundreds of events across the country that will bring communities and law enforcement together.