Sheriff’s Association kicks off public awareness campaign in Athens

The National Sheriff’s Association is among the organizers of a three-day campaign that launches today in Athens: the Supporting the Blue public awareness and education campaign is featured in a series of events that begin today and continue through Friday.

From the National Sheriff’s Association…

The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and MovementForward Inc.’s One Congregation One Precinct initiative (OneCOP) are pleased to announce the Supporting the Blue Public Awareness and Education Campaign will host key community events in Athens, Georgia on February 26th, 27th, and 29th.

These events will bring Athens and Clarke County law enforcement together with the community to build long-term support, empathy, trust and rapport. The activities are: Community members participate in (2/26); “Shoot or Don’t Shoot” training simulations (2/26); the roll out of MovementForward’s innovative One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) initiative (2/27), a partnership between law enforcement agencies and diverse congregations of every faith tradition; and an active shooter training for community leaders and residents (2/29).

“America’s Sheriffs are honored to partner with the citizens of Athens and Clarke County. Working together we will keep our communities safe,” NSA Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Thompson said. “With better collaboration between law enforcement and their community, the public experiences the great challenges young officers face, and law enforcement what community members experience, each day.”

The Supporting the Blue campaign – a national initiative – highlights the challenging responsibilities of law enforcement through meaningful interaction with local communities. It is a U.S Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, program facilitated by the NSA, with MovementForward, Inc./OneCOP, to spur favorable news and support for our nation’s law enforcement officers. The initiative develops and implements a locally based, national campaign to educate the public about the realities of law enforcement, through positive, education interactions with law enforcement, to encourage community understanding and support.

“We have seen firsthand that communities become stronger and safer when law enforcement and community learn from each other,” said Reverend Markel Hutchins, CEO of MovementForward and OneCOP, “and we believe Athens and Clarke County will emerge from these activities with the connections and tools to collaborate closely on public safety in a way that benefits everyone.”

About the National Sheriffs’ Association:

The National Sheriffs’ Association is one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the U.S., representing more than 3,000 elected Sheriffs across the nation, and with a total membership of more than 14,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among Sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice. Throughout its seventy-nine-year history, NSA has also served as an information resource for all law enforcement, as well as State governments and the Federal government.

About MovementForward, Incorporated:

MovementForward, Inc. (MFI) is a modern, inclusive social change organization working to protect, promote and advance the civil and human rights of all people. We are building a multiracial, multifaceted and intergenerational movement for social justice, economic parity, educational equity, racial reconciliation and global peace by bringing diverse people together to solve problems. Founded in 2015 by emerging faith leaders in Atlanta, MFI provides this generation of Americans a conciliatory voice to offer programs, projects, activism, empowerment opportunities, and targeted issue campaigns to advocate for one standard of justice regardless of race, class, gender, religion, orientation or immigration status. MovementForward, Inc. provides innovative, inclusive, and solution-focused direct action, leadership development, ongoing programs, special projects, educational forums, community meetings and other strategic advocacy initiatives for civil and human rights, racial reconciliation, social justice, civic and cultural development, peace, and economic and educational parity.

The “One Congregation One Precinct” (OneCOP) initiative, MovementForward’s signature program, facilitates positive, ongoing partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and diverse congregations of every faith tradition. This includes organizing various crime and violence prevention/solving efforts, hosting public safety briefings, providing cultural and sensitivity training, conducting officer appreciation events, holding community safety workshops, and hosting forums focused on bettering the relationship between cops and citizens.

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