ANNOUNCING NATIONAL FAITH AND BLUE WEEKEND:
A Public-Private Collaborative Effort to Build Bridges and Break Biases
Law Enforcement Unites with Faith Community for a Nationwide Weekend of Resolution and Reconciliation
[Washington, DC] – The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) along with other national law enforcement groups, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and MovementForward, Inc.’s One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) iniatiive are jointly organizing the most consolidated police-community engagement project in recent history - National Faith and Blue Weekend (NFBW) with FirstNet, Built with AT&T as its presenting sponsor. The mission of NFBW is to facilitate safer, stronger and more unified communities by connecting law enforcement officers and residents through local houses of worship.
“Finding common ground and ensuring justice for all starts with collaborative and respectful communication and the National Faith and Blue Weekend is evidence of leadership by example,” said Jason Porter, senior vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “Through its mission focused and highly diverse group of faith-based and policing organization leaders, this initiative is laser focused on facilitating positive and actionable community relations between citizens and law enforcement across our Nation. As America’s public safety partner, it’s our honor to support this grassroots effort to strengthen police-community relations in neighborhoods across the country.”
As the nation continues to grapple with recent discord between law enforcement and some of the communities they serve, this weekend will serve as NFBW’s first installation to address an urgent yet longstanding need for authentic collaboration between law enformcent and citizens.
HAPCOA’s mission is to “empower the future of law enforcement” by assisting law enforcement, criminal justice and community organizations nationwide. Our membership of command staff officers, at the municipal, county, state, university, school and federal levels supports NFBW as it is encourages the faith-based relationship that we have endorsed for over 45 years!
Collaborations between law enforcement and local groups – especially faith-based organizations – are invaluable force-multipliers for creating safer and more engaged communities. NFBW will positively impact Americans by directly engaging community influencers, residents and law enforcement professionals in every state across the U.S.
“Our pathway to progress around policing as a nation is a collaborative one that focuses on our commonalities rather than our differences,” says Reverend Markel Hutchins, National Lead Organizer, One Congregation One Precinct initiative (OneCOP) and President & CEO, MovementForward, Inc. “Because sixty million Americans attend weekly gatherings at more than 350,000 houses of worship nationwide, nothing rivals the depth and breadth of influence presented by houses of worship who are unique and powerful gateways to the heart of communities in which they have a mutual interest in achieving effective police-community engagement.”
NFBW is slated for October 9 – 11, 2020 with planned activities such as community dialogues, service projects and other interactive experiences to help foster on-going, authentic and mutual community-law enforcement trust.
NFBW is an unprecedented national law enforcement-community engagement project involving nearly every major national law enforcement group in the United States of America along with the three entities in the federal government that deal most directly with policing. On April 27, 2020, led by Director Keith and Reverend Hutchins, the heads of each of the following organizations participated in the initial meeting:
- Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, United States Department of Justice
- Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice
- Bureau of Justice Assistance, United States Department of Justice
- Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
- Fraternal Order of Police
- Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association
- International Association of Chiefs of Police
- International Brotherhood of Police Officers
- International Conference of Police Chaplains
- Major County Sheriffs of America
- National Asian Peace Officers Association
- National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys
- National Association of Police Organizations
- National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives
- National Black Police Association
- National District Attorney’s Association
- National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
- National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition
- National Police Foundation
- National Sheriffs’ Association
- Police Executive Research Forum
Initial meeting participants had no idea that the unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minneapolis nearly three weeks later would accelerate and reiterate the need for this so sorely needed, change effort.
For more information about National Faith and Blue Weekend, visit www.faithandblue.org.
ABOUT HAPCOA: The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) is a non-profit membership organization established in 1973. It is the oldest and largest association in the U.S. of Hispanic American command officers from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies at the municipal, county, state, university, school and federal levels.
For more information, membership and donations please visit: www.hapcoa.org
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