Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is Committed to Building Strong Relationships
MovementForward, Inc., a modern, inclusive social change organization working to protect, promote, and advance the civil and human rights of all people, in partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced the Jacksonville launch of its signature program One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP). The goal of the OneCOP initiative is to deepen engagement between local law enforcement and the communities they serve through houses of worship. As a part of the launch, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and MovementForward, Inc. will bring together leaders from the Jacksonville faith-based community for an opportunity to experience in-person officer-civilian scenarios that include mock traffic stops, simulated interactions and reaction drills. Lastly, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has invited every senior faith leader who presides over every local house of worship to attend a launch luncheon.
Sheriff Mike Williams offered, “I have said time and time again, ‘During a crisis is NOT when relationships can be built. But rather it is through the commitment to open conversations happening routinely BEFORE the crisis occurs that makes all the difference.’” He went to say “Jacksonville has a rich roster of leaders in every community and the OneCOP Program is seamlessly designed to make every house of worship a force multiplier in how the men and women of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office can directly engage with those we are so proud to serve. I look forward to seeing the amazing connections made and long-time relationships bloom.”
“Police-community tensions are at an all-time high. Without a doubt, America needs a resolution to address the systemic racism at the heart of many of society’s wrongs, including the racial inequities in our criminal justice system,” said Rev. Markel Hutchins, CEO of MovementForward, Inc. “Police reform will not happen overnight, and the long-term solution will require a substantial effort to address the grievances and negative perceptions civilians have about law enforcement. Collaborations between police agencies and local groups–especially faith-based organizations–are invaluable force-multipliers for creating safer and more engaged neighborhoods.”
OneCOP is MovementForward, Inc.’s signature program, which facilitates positive, ongoing partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and diverse congregations of every faith tradition. This includes organizing various crime and violence prevention-solving efforts, hosting public safety briefings, providing cultural and sensitivity training, conducting officer appreciation events, holding community safety workshops, and hosting forums focused on bettering the relationship between cops and citizens.
OneCOP is a proactive rather than reactive approach to addressing tensions around police-involved incidents as well as ongoing crime and violence in local communities. OneCOP has several objectives that incorporate the six pillars outlined by the former Task Force on 21st Century Policing of the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Community Oriented Policing Services:
- Improve public safety through collaboration and information sharing to prevent, combat and solve crimes by tapping into the varied resources of faith-based institutions
- Increase community engagement with patrol-level police officers, via congregations, resulting in decreased bias and increased familiarity, mutual respect and trust
- Proactively create a direct link between law enforcement executives and community leaders in an effort to give voice to growing public concerns relative to policing
Jacksonville is the fifth launch of OneCOP following implementations in Indianapolis, Ind.; Atlanta; Athens, Ga. and Portland, Ore.
To learn more about the OneCOP initiative, visit https://movementforward.org/onecop/.
ABOUT THE JACKSONVILLE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Located in Duval County, Florida, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) is an accredited agency comprised of approximately 3,500 employees; including nearly 2,000 sworn police; corrections and civilian personnel. As one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the nation, JSO provides rigorous training, maintains the highest professional standards, and offers a technologically advanced academy to train top quality employees to serve and protect a community of nearly one-million citizens. Under the leadership of Sheriff Mike Williams, the members of the agency strive for a crime-free environment, driven by partnerships with empowered citizens, fostering a vibrant community and the success of all individuals.
ABOUT MOVEMENTFORWARD, INC.
MovementForward, Inc. (MFI) is a modern, inclusive social change organization working to protect, promote and advance the civil and human rights of all people. It is building a multiracial, multifaceted and intergenerational movement for social justice, economic parity, educational equity, racial reconciliation and global peace by bringing diverse people together to solve problems. Founded in 2015 by emerging faith leaders in Atlanta, MFI provides this generation of Americans a conciliatory voice to offer programs, projects, activism, empowerment opportunities, and targeted issue campaigns to advocate for one standard of justice regardless of race, class, gender, religion, orientation or immigration status.
ABOUT ONE CONGREGATION ONE PRECINCT (OneCOP)
One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) initiative is MovementForward, Inc.’s signature program that facilitates positive, ongoing partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and diverse congregations of every faith tradition. OneCOP partnerships allow for program-participating officers to personally know the people in their assigned communities by building relationships with congregations in the respective, local area by organizing various crime and violence prevention/solving efforts, hosting public safety briefings, providing cultural and sensitivity training, conducting officer appreciation events, holding community safety workshops, and hosting forums focused on bettering the relationship between cops and residents. Today, OneCOP is established in four cities in the United States.
Dennis-Anthony Dent, Manager of Communications and Social Media, MovementForward, Inc.; o: 404-793-7017; firstname.lastname@example.org