P.E.A.C.E (Police Education and Community Engagement) :
A New Paradigm
How did this program come about?
In 2014, prior to the Michael Brown shooting in Missouri, law enforcement had experienced a gradual improvement in relationships with their communities, primarily due to community policing. The incident in Missouri gave reason to some communities to view police officers suspiciously once again. That suspicion expanded as additional controversial shootings and deaths occurred. As a result, police/community relations began to deteriorate. Many programs to combat these issues followed. Although some of these programs have made positive gains, CTCS believes there is still much more to be done.
This course was developed in a mindfulness way of educating law enforcement. Mindfulness training is situational awareness “on a more active level.” Through greater self-awareness, police officers can learn greater situational awareness to be fully present, aware of where they are and what they are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around them. Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.
Our training/program (P.E.A.C.E) is tailored to meet your agency/organizations needs from a 8-hour basic block to the complete two-day program. CTCS in partnership with Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCU), local law enforcement and other institutions will host this program. We believe this is a groundbreaking approach to begin to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the communities they server.
Day 1 is a classroom training designed to help officers identify, discuss, develop, and refine strategies that effectively promote and enhance community relations as well as self-evaluate internal assumptions and beliefs. Self-awareness is developed (1) through an honest dialog with one’s self and an acceptance of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and (2) nonjudgmental awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Our training is a highly interactive, thought-provoking, and practical oriented format. Officers work independently and in small groups to openly share ideas and collaborate on solutions. The training examines real-life influences such as the media, cultural stereotypes, bias, prejudice, communication gaps, and identifies how each can affect an officer’s ability to police and interact effectively with the community they serve.
Day 2 is split into two sessions that are designed specifically to connect police officers and the community.
Session 1: Officers who participate in the training and other volunteers will work with community elementary and middle school youth grades 3 - 8th in a sporting event, which will be held in a clinic/camp-style format. Actual skill instruction will be given when possible by college/local coaches, student athletes, and professional players. Sports has become a world language. It is the common denominator capable of breaking down walls and barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have a widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and development.
Session 2: CTCS will facilitate modified tabletop exercises involving university/high school
students, and police officers who participated in the prior training. The purpose of this
tabletop exercise is to encourage discussion and to get insight from all participates involving
community/police relationships and to help develop a better understanding on how to bridge
the gap. A simple real-world scenario will be presented to the group. During the exercise, the
group will be given questions that need to be discussions and worked through. The exercise ends
when all outcomes have been explored and presented.