As part of the “Supporting the Blue” campaign led by One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) Initiative and the National Sheriff’s Association and funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, there were a series of activities in Athens, Georgia last week (February 26 to the 29th), which were geared towards facilitating partnerships between the local law enforcement officers and the diverse congregations of every faith tradition.
The Athens, GA “Supporting the Blue” campaign launch began on Feb. 26th with a special police training that was conducted for a select group of twenty faith and community leaders in the area. These specific leaders went through a “Shoot Don’t Shoot” Simulation, a Police Ride Along, and a tour of the facilities that gave them all an inside look at daily law enforcement operations, from the county jail to the 911 call response center. These activities were geared towards providing a glimpse as to what
it’s like “behind the badge”.
On February 27th, the OneCOP launch luncheon took place at the East Athens Dance Educational Center. Over 50 faith leaders across numerous faith traditions, representing thousands of congregation members, attended the luncheon to learn about the OneCOP Initiative. This catered information session had a dual purpose of both providing the overall goal and implementation of the OneCOP Initiative as well as gathering the support and commitment of participation to the program. Every faith leader in attendance pledged their support and participation to join in our efforts to bridge both faith and law enforcement relationships.
The last event in Athens was the Active Shooter Training which took place on February 29th at St. Joseph Catholic Church and School. Over 200 delegates attended this training that was carried out in junction by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Athens office and the Athens-Clarke County Sheriff’s office. The FBI and the Sheriff’s office provided information on hate crimes, proper tourniquet procedure, and vital training in the event of an active shooter scenario.
These events in Athens, GA served as a launching point to creating partnerships between law enforcement and the community to create a safer and more robust Athens. When communities and law enforcement come together in unity biases decrease while public safety increases which is why MovementForward and the OneCOP Initiative is partnered with the National Sheriff’s Association with the “Supporting the Blue” Campaign.
Next, we will be launching a series of events in Indianapolis, Indiana in April to continue our involvement in the “Supporting the Blue” campaign.
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