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Community Relations Service News Summer 2022

Welcome to Director Monteiro

CRS Director Paul Monteiro joined the agency in May 2022, after Senate confirmation on April 28, 2022. Director Monteiro returns to CRS from his most recent position as chief of staff to the president and assistant vice president of external affairs at Howard University. Director Monteiro previously served as CRS Acting Director from December 2015 to January 2017. During his tenure, he oversaw CRS’s work supporting communities as they worked to reduce tensions and prevent and respond to bias incidents and hate crimes, including following the June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the July 2016 fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, metropolitan area. Learn more about Director Monteiro in his official bio.

Virtual Protecting Places of Worship Forums

CRS hosted two virtual Protecting Places of Worship forums on June 27 and June 29 to provide interfaith communities with resources and information on securing their places of worship, help faith leaders build relationships with law enforcement, and answer questions. The forums included overviews of hate crimes laws, how hate crimes are investigated, and active shooter response training; descriptions of tools for securing places of worship; and information on related grants and other resources.

More than 800 people attended the events. You can watch a recording of the event on our YouTube channel.

Summer Gatherings and Peaceful Protests

Summer is a busy time for public gatherings and peaceful protests. If you are planning an authorized, permitted, or proper public demonstration, CRS has resources and trainings to help keep everyone safe.

Thorough planning can help make sure an event is safe and avoid unforeseen issues. CRS’s Reducing Risk During Public Events: Contingency Planning training, available both in person and virtually, helps stakeholders identify and mitigate risks to public safety prior to the start of a public event.

Event marshals can play an important role in keeping events safe and organized. CRS offers an in-person or virtual training, Event Marshals: Maintaining Public Safety During Events, to help volunteers learn the responsibilities of an event marshal and best practices for the role.

CRS’s contingency planning checklist and event marshals guide can also help you and your organization plan a safe event.

New Trainings on Engaging with Muslim and Sikh American Communities

In March, CRS facilitated its first-ever community-focused Engaging and Building Relationships with Muslim Americans and Engaging and Building Relationships with Sikh Americans trainings for the city of Greeley, Colorado. These two new programs adapt CRS’s existing training programs for law enforcement to offer an opportunity for members of local communities to learn more about the beliefs, practices, and cultural aspects of Muslim and Sikh Americans and civil rights-related issues that often impact these communities. Participants also learn best practices for engaging and building relationships with Muslim and Sikh Americans in the community. CRS facilitated these events in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado and the Greeley Human Relations Commission. For more information, visit the CRS website or contact CRS.

Improved Police-Community Relations in Erie, Pennsylvania

In February, CRS published a case study finding that participants in a 2018 Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships (SPCP) facilitated dialogue program in Erie, Pennsylvania, reported improved perceptions of trust between community members and police and decreased racial tensions in the community. The city of Erie presented these findings in a press conference that included the mayor and members of the SPCP council. DOJ also featured this case study in its Annual Evaluation Plan for Fiscal Year 2022. Learn more about the case study findings and access the full report in this CRS Highlights article.

CRS Pilots New Web-Based Training for Law Enforcement Officers on Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities

In July, CRS will pilot its first-ever self-paced web-based training (WBT) program with law enforcement officers from across the country. The training consists of a series of online lessons that educate participants on terms to use when engaging transgender individuals, the civil rights issues impacting these communities, and strategies to improve outreach and relationships with transgender communities. The course includes interactive exercises, knowledge checks, narration, and videos. This new WBT was adapted from CRS’s frequently requested Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities training program. After the pilot is complete, the training program will be available to law enforcement agencies across the country.

Contact your local CRS office for more information.

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Updated April 4, 2023