Misunderstanding and hate tend to feed each other. Too often, the hate then leads to violence. With that reality in mind, there is an organization that exists to break the cycle of misunderstanding and hate and, as a consequence, foster safer and more peaceful communities.
The group’s mission goes hand in hand with the community policing concept, too. Community policing recognizes that responding to crime while it’s happening–or after it happens–is not enough to ensure a secure, law-abiding society. Rather, individuals and social institutions must work together with law enforcement to nurture the values, attitudes, and commitments that encourage citizens to act lawfully.
This is the aim of “The Working Group,” known to most by the name of its flagship project, Not In Our Town.
NIOT is increasingly interested in connecting law enforcement with other community efforts as they pursue their mission. In NIOT’s own words: Our unique approach is based on the premise that real change takes place at the local level. We focus on solutions to inspire and empower communities to create a world where:
Tools for Law Enforcement
NIOT produces films, short videos, and a variety of companion resources—including law enforcement guides. The videos include the major project “Waking in Oak Creek,” about the attack on the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and “Beyond the Badge,” which profiles a school resource officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Both films were produced in conjunction with the COPS Office. NIOT’s Law Enforcement Videos page offers a continuously updated list of videos of interest to law enforcement.
With all of the recent emphasis on improving and increasing community-policing oriented training (the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, for example) NIOT’s output can be a helpful resource. Waking in Oak Creek has a COPS Office published companion Guide for Law Enforcement. NIOT also offers such helpful resources like Guiding Principles for Leading a Community After a Tragedy, a law enforcement guide to Building Stronger, Safer Communities, and more, many of which can be found on IACP Net.
Law enforcement agencies looking to strengthen or update their training efforts for bias-free, strongly-community-oriented policing should take a look at what NIOT offers to supplement their training resources.