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Working Together to Solve Problems and Keep Communities Safe

April 6, 2012
This week Deputy Attorney General James Cole traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio where he met with city officials, including Mayor Mallory and Police Chief Craig and addressed a group of Cincinnati police officers who were attending a training presented by the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service. The training was designed to provide tools to enhance the officers’ ability to build partnerships with community members and to work with their fellow citizens who share a commitment to public safety.   Deputy Attorney General Cole praised the work of the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) and their decision to participate in this training:
The CPD sought this training because it recognized that in order to maintain its deep commitment to community policing, it must keep seeking new opportunities to build community partnerships.   As you know, the Attorney General came to Cincinnati last year to recognize this commitment and to announce that the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services had awarded the CPD over 6.8 million dollars to put more cops on the beat.   With Chief Craig’s leadership, the CPD has embraced community problem oriented policing to allow officers and the community to work together to solve problems.  
The Community Relations Service (CRS) has a unique mission within the Department of Justice that allows the agency to work with community members and law enforcement leaders to work proactively to address tension associated with allegations of discrimination and to help prevent and respond more effectively to alleged hate crimes.  CRS does not investigate or prosecute and operates under a strict confidentiality mandate that enables the agency to serve police leaders and community leaders in a manner that recognizes the complexity of the challenges that communities face daily.  CRS regularly responds to requests from law enforcement officials and from other community leaders across the country who share a sense of responsibility to improve public safety.   CRS provided Cultural Professionalism training, which engaged officers in a discussion regarding how to identify the perspectives of various cultures and communities, the impact of police culture on communities, and how communication can bridge cultural divides.   Another training session, focused on Arab/Muslim/Sikh Cultural Awareness was designed to foster mutual understanding and enhance law enforcement outreach capabilities to Arab, Muslim, and Sikh communities by addressing cultural behaviors and sensitivities, stereotypes, and expectations.  Community members from the greater Cincinnati area volunteered to help facilitate these trainings, demonstrating through an investment of time and skills their commitment to work together with law enforcement to realize the shared goal of improving public safety.  Along with the Cincinnati Police Department, other local and neighboring law enforcement agencies and City of Cincinnati employees participated in the CRS trainings with a total of over 1000 officers trained.  The officers and the community members who participated in these trainings demonstrated an inspiring belief in the people of Cincinnati and their ability to work together as partners to realize shared goals and further improve public safety.      

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Updated April 7, 2017