Detroit Police Detective Brian Fountain addresses students during Project Sentry presentation at Bunche Middle School.
U.S. Attorney’s Office partners with the community to reduce violations of the law. Our outreach efforts include town hall meetings, participation in community and law enforcement partnerships, such as ALPACT, MIAAHC, BRIDGES, and Detroit One outreach to groups that have had limited access to justice, such as minority and immigrant communities, the LGBT community, veterans’ groups and the disabled.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is a proud and founding member of Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust (“ALPACT”), and has played an integral role in the organization’s evolution over the years of its existence. ALPACT is comprised of leaders and members of the community in Southeast Michigan, civil rights and civil liberties organizations, and leaders from the law enforcement community. The members meet regularly to examine issues affecting police and community relations, including but not limited to, community perceptions of discriminatory enforcement of laws, racial profiling and use of force by police officers. ALPACT members work together to explore strategies to increase opportunities for community partnering and to build a stronger foundation for higher levels of community trust of law enforcement. The U.S. Attorney herself, as well as members of the office’s Civil Rights and Community Outreach teams participate in ALPACT by hosting and attending the group’s regularly held meetings, serving on its subcommittees and meaningfully contributing to the dialogue spawned by the act of bringing disparate voices together. This office views ALPACT as an important tool it can use to augment efforts to engender a more trusting and positive community/law enforcement relationship in the Eastern District of Michigan.
The Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes (“MIAAHC”) is a statewide coalition established to develop a consistent and coordinated response to hate crimes and bias incidents perpetrated in Michigan. This office is a permanent member of the steering committee, and U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade serves as one of its four co-chairs. The enforcement of civil rights laws is a high priority for this office, and in 2010 the office helped to organize the “MI Response to Hate Conference,” which was put on by MIAAHC and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Members of this office also contribute to MIAAHC’s mission by chairing and serving on the Victim Support sub-committee and the Law Enforcement Training sub-committee, as well as providing educational and training support when necessary. Participation in MIAAHC is but one instrument used to fulfill the mission to protect the rights of all citizens residing in this district.
BRIDGES, an acronym which stands for Building Respect In Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity, is a successful partnership between federal law enforcement agencies and leaders in the Arab American and Middle Eastern communities in the metro-Detroit region. It is the outgrowth of an alliance formed shortly after September 11, 2001, when John Bell, then the special Agent in Charge of FBI-Detroit, and Imad Hamad, Regional Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, gathered together government and community leaders o address backlash against the local Arab American and Middle Eastern communities. From this alliance evolved BRIDGES, which now meets on a regular basis to provide a form to address issues of mutual concern and to foster better understanding. BRIDGES addresses issues such as border crossings, no-fly lists, charitable giving, cultural sensitivity, hate crimes, law enforcement policies and procedures, and immigration. The Detroit BRIDGES model has been touted by at least one academic who studied it as the ‘gold standard’ for law enforcement partnerships with the Arab, Muslim and Sikh Communities. The success of BRIDGES has inspired other districts to form their own chapters.
Detroit One is a law enforcement and community initiative to reduce homicide and violent crime in Detroit. The name connotes a unified effort by our entire community working together to improve public safety.