News | February 20th, 2023
MovementForward, Inc. and Stand Together Trust Announce Launch of First-of-its-Kind National Network to Support Community Engagement in Law Enforcement
Network will use evidence-based practices to strengthen ties between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
ATLANTA, Feb. 16, 2023 — MovementForward, Inc., in partnership with Stand Together Trust, today announced the launch of the Law Enforcement Community-Engagement Network (LECEN), the nation’s first network to support the critical work of officers tasked with leading community engagement efforts within their departments.
No national resource currently exists to help public safety professionals responsible for community engagement access best practices, peer support, industry expertise, or current research. The LECEN will fill that gap, helping officers meaningfully engage with the communities they serve.
“For the past several years, we’ve seen significant strains on the relationship between law enforcement and communities – the most recent example being the tragic death of Tyre Nichols,” said Rev. Markel Hutchins, president & CEO of MovementForward, Inc. “Effective law enforcement-community engagement is the key to reducing such appalling incidents.” Hutchins continued, “We must repair the relationships between police and community members. Without doing so, we cannot simply hope for things to get better.”
The network is convened by MovementForward, Inc., a modern, inclusive social change organization working to protect, promote, and advance the civil and human rights of all people, with support from Stand Together Trust, a member of the Stand Together philanthropic community that invests in and partners with innovative social entrepreneurs tackling our country’s biggest problems through “bottom-up” solutions.
“Meaningful community engagement is not only important for trust and accountability, but it is also necessary to effectively prevent and solve serious crime in our communities,” said Brianna Nuhfer, vice president for criminal justice at Stand Together. “We’re excited to partner with MovementForward on the launch of this network of leaders taking a smarter approach to criminal justice — one based on proven methods that prioritize public safety and restore human dignity. We hope the LECEN will aid law enforcement in pursuing its core mission of protecting and serving the community.”
The first LECEN cohort was convened in January. It includes the following 20 members, representing a cross-section of agencies, geographies, demographics, experiences, and more:
- 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
This inaugural cohort will set the stage for the LECEN’s expansion in the second half of 2023. Cohort members will share and be further instructed in using evidence-based approaches backed by Intergroup Contact Theory, the practice of increasing contact between members of different groups to reduce prejudice, bridge divides, and build trust with the community.
The LECEN will also provide essential guidance as MFI hosts the inaugural Professionalizing Law Enforcement-Community Engagement Training National Conference (PLECET) in Atlanta from May 3-6, 2023, to provide training and networking opportunities to community engagement officers and executives.
About MovementForward, Inc.
MovementForward, Inc. is a modern, inclusive social change organization working to protect, promote and advance the civil and human rights of all people. It organizes activities focused on reconciliation and bridge building including National Faith & Blue Weekend and the Professionalizing Law Enforcement-Community Engagement Training National Conference.
Visit MovementForward, Inc at www.movementforward.org or follow us on Twitter at @MovementFWD.
About Stand Together Trust
Stand Together Trust invests in social entrepreneurs developing solutions to America’s most pressing problems. Alongside inspiring partners, we drive solutions on criminal justice, education, economic opportunity, health care, and dozens of other pressing issues. Read more about our support for social entrepreneurs committed to criminal justice reform. Learn more at www.standtogethertrust.org and www.standtogether.org. Join the Stand Together philanthropic community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
Editorial Disclaimer: All blog posts are contributed by a member of the MovementForward, Inc. team in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in the posts are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of MovementForward, Inc. or any other partnership associated with the organization.