The Law Enforcement-Community Engagement Network (LECEN) is an ongoing resource that provides best practices, peer support, industry expertise, and current research for sworn and non-sworn personnel assigned to community engagement roles within law enforcement agencies across the nation.
The LECEN is currently in a trial cohort. It will have a soft launch following the Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training Conference (PLECET) from May 3-May 6, 2023.
Research has shown, and community members and law enforcement professionals agree, enhanced and expanded training and peer support for public safety personnel is needed to reduce crime, build trust, and enable successful police-community collaboration.
Multiple functions within and outside law enforcement provide ongoing peer support and access to cutting edge resources and strategies for professionals in the discharge their duties. Yet, there is a colossal lack of networking and ongoing training opportunities for community engagement roles, including chaplains, within the law enforcement profession. As crime rates rise, communities and police also concur that strong community–law enforcement partnerships are increasingly requisite for public safety. The LECEN will address this gap.
Network members will:
Learn about best and promising community outreach practices and resources that will help them excel in their jobs.
Connect with other law enforcement professionals working in similar roles across the nation, which will provide immediate and sustained professional development opportunities.
Organize local programming simultaneous to other network members, sharing best practices and lessons learned, and having first access to resources including training guides and swag.
The LECEN utilizes evaluated best practices in creating connections across difference. The underlying theory is “Intergroup Contact Theory” which was pioneered after World War II efforts in integration and sets the conditions for successful engagement between groups, including the types of activities and the role for leadership. LECEN members will learn how to further use these approaches, how their agencies can support them, and how to evaluate for impact.
The first half of 2023 is commencing with an invite-only trial network of twenty law enforcement professionals that are evaluating and providing feedback for the LECEN’s public launch. Following the Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training Conference in May, 2023, components of the network will be made available to the general public. Following National Faith & Blue Weekend in October, 2023, the network will open up to all applicants.
While most law enforcement community engagement professionals have great instincts and good intentions, they might lack the expertise, organizational capacity, and resources required to implement their ideas.
Further, most community engagement professionals have not received any form of peer support on how to best engage with and involve community members, or how to promote their outreach programs, events, and ongoing activities. Others have successfully organized impactful events but lack the expertise to transform these activities into long-term and sustained strategic partnerships that reduce crime and increase mutual trust. These are just a few examples of the community engagement training gaps that will be addressed by participating in the community engagement network.
Trial Cohort Members
Aurora Police Department – Aurora, CO
Belmont Police Department – Belmont, NC
Brookhaven Police Department – Brookhaven, GA
Brownstown Police Department – Brownstown, MI
Central Connecticut State University Police Department – New Britain, CT
Columbia Police Department – Columbia, SC
Dover Police Department – Dover, DE
Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office – Conway, AR
Fresno Police Department – Fresno, CA
Hiram Police Department – Hiram, GA
Jackson Police Department – Jackson, MS
King County Sheriff’s Office – Seattle, WA
Memphis Police Department – Memphis, TN
Milwaukee Police Department – Milwaukee, WI
Mooresville Police Department – Mooresville, NC
Norristown Police Department – Norristown, PA
Oxnard Police Department – Oxnard, CA
Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office – Roanoke, VA
San Diego Police Department – San Diego, CA
Sinclair College Police Department – Dayton, OH
Skaneateles Police Department – Skaneateles, NY
Waco Police Department – Waco, TX
MovementForward in Action
We look forward to continuing our engagement to build mutual understanding and respect between faith communities and all law enforcement with the goal of facilitating safer, stronger, unified and inclusive communities.
Lisa Wiley - Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office
Hartford, CT had one of the most successful events in our region. The Police/ Community partnership were the KEY to the success of the Day. From the planning to the implementation all elements came together to make our NFBW impactful. The book give-a-way, voter registration, the Horses, the food, the music, the church and all the interesting police vehicles and officers kept the 100 residents and families that came to visit engaged and encouraged and ready for more.
Kelvin Loveyjoy - Hartford Police department
The Phoenix Police Department held five virtual events for National Faith & Blue Weekend 2020 which took place October 9-12. Activities included staff from all seven patrol precincts and the Community Engagement Bureau, and featured members of the Police Chief’s Advisory Boards and the Faith and Justice Project Initiative that serves both south and west Phoenix. Each event was developed to increase awareness and understanding of various social and public safety matters, such as homelessness outreach, LGBTQIA organizations, and Sikh culture. Chief Williams and her executive staff were able to address participants during each session and reiterate the Department’s commitment to community engagement.
Nicki Hicks - Phoenix Police Department
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