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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder Announces National Effort By The Justice Department To Build Trust Between Law Enforcement And The Communities They Serve

Memphis, TN – Attorney General Eric Holder announced today the launch of the Justice Department’s National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. Members of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC)’s Racial Disparities working group joined the Attorney General for the announcement in Washington, DC. Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, is a member of the AGAC Racial Disparities working group and joined the Attorney General for today’s announcement in Washington.

Funded through a $4.75 million grant, the initiative will create a substantial investment in training, evidence-based strategies, policy development and research to combat distrust and hostility between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following an officer-involved shooting have brought national attention to the importance of strong police-community relationships, which has been a priority for the Justice Department under Attorney General Holder.

The initiative, which will be an ongoing partnership with the Justice Department, will provide training to law enforcement and communities on bias reduction and procedural fairness and will apply evidence-based strategies in five pilot sites around the country. It will also establish a clearinghouse where information, research, and technical assistance are readily accessible for law enforcement, criminal justice practitioners and community leaders.

United States Attorney Stanton said, "I was pleased to join Attorney General Holder for today's announcement of this key initiative, which will help ensure fairness, eliminate bias, and build community engagement throughout the country. My office and our law enforcement partners have always worked hard to build and preserve strong, cooperative police-community relationships throughout West Tennessee. We will continue to make this a top priority."

In a holistic approach, the initiative will simultaneously address the tenets of procedural justice, reducing implicit bias and facilitating racial reconciliation. The initiative will compliment and be advised by other Justice Department components such as the Office of Justice Programs, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Civil Rights Division and the Community Relations Service.

Updated March 19, 2015