Community Relations Service
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 22, 2008
Contact: Daryl Borgquist
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the Community Relations Service (CRS) has implemented a Noose Incident Response Team (NIRT) to more closely monitor and respond to community racial tensions arising from alleged noose incidents.
“CRS has a myriad of conflict resolution services to provide to communities in responding to real or alleged noose incidents,” said CRS Acting Director Ondray T. Harris. “Historically, CRS has been responding to emotionally charged community racial incidents – including noose incidents – for more than 40 years. Therefore, the agency has unparalleled experience to help communities in these matters.”
The Noose Incident Response Team will include CRS staff from each of its 10 regional offices. Using the contributions of all CRS conciliators, the NIRT will monitor and assess reports of noose incidents in every region in order to provide the most effective community racial tension conciliation services.
Notwithstanding the creation of the NIRT, CRS will continue to provide its regular conciliation services to alleged noose incidents within normal local assignments. CRS, however, will provide more intensive and in-depth services for alleged incidents which have a national influence on race relations; this includes the deployment of a rapid response team for extraordinary situations that require immediate attention.
The agency has a great deal of skills, experience, and methods for addressing community racial tensions which may arise from noose incidents. Some examples of these include:
- Bias and hate crime community forums for law enforcement, prosecutors, and members of the affected community help build collaborative responses to hate incidents or crimes.
- CRS contingency planning in advance of marches and rallies, volunteer marshal training, and on-site presence to monitor and defuse racial tensions help improve community race relations.
- A national law enforcement hate crime training program provides a specialized review of the range of roles and responsibilities for hate crime and incident responders.
CRS is a unique federal component dedicated to preventing and defusing racial and ethnic conflicts. For more information about the Community Relations Service, please visit www.usdoj.gov/crs.
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