COLORADO SPRINGS – As our nation continues to grapple with systemic racism and police behavior, faith leaders and law enforcement officers across the country are joining forces to improve relationships and build trust in black and brown communities.
This year, 500 virtual and face-to-face community events were held in 43 states including Colorado. They were organized between clergy, community leaders and law enforcement agencies to address the root causes of police shootings and arbitrary attacks on officials.
"In the past few years we have seen tremendous and unprecedented strains in the relationship between law enforcement and communities," said Reverend Markel Hutchins, chief organizer of the agency. "The past few years have shown us that we can't just march and protest. We can't move on to a more equitable police and criminal justice system in America. At some point we have to turn our pain into power."
The organizers hope this collaboration will help capitalize on better relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
Reverend Hutchins also considered the idea of defusing the police.
"The fact is, if we need more resources to pay law enforcement professionals so we can hire better quality, better trained, better equipped, and mentally better law enforcement agencies," Hutchins said. "So this idea of defusing the police is disgusting to me because I know who it hurts the most. It hurts people like the people who live in the communities."
Every year in October, the non-profit organization hosts a weekend full of sponsored events. More information can be found here.