Criminal Justice & Community Relations Taskforce

Mission

The YWCA's Criminal Justice & Community Relations Taskforce brings together law enforcement and community leaders to implement programs that promote racial justice in policing.

Vision

Positive police engagement that protects and serves fairly and equitably ALL community members, including but not limited to communities of color and all marginalized communities.

Law Enforcement Training

The Taskforce grew out of conversations with key law enforcement leaders who participated in the pilot "Let's Talk: A Conversation about Race" series in February 2014. These discussions led to a 9-month planning process to develop a two-day law enforcement training.

Entitled “To Protect & Serve in the 21st Century: Building Bridges with Diverse Communities,” the overall goal was to equip law enforcement officers with the knowledge and skills to build stronger relationships with the diverse communities that they protect and serve. Local and national subject-matter experts presented on:

  • Reducing incidents of racial profiling and building trust with communities
  • Increasing awareness of civil rights laws, hate crimes law and hate/supremacist groups
  • Delivering culturally aware and linguistically appropriate services

300 police officers from 30 police jurisdictions and state agencies across five counties completed this training in February, March and April of 2015. In March of 2017, 30 police officers in Lancaster County completed the training.

This training is approved by the PA Municipal Police Officers Education & Training Commission (MPOETC) for Continuing Law Enforcement Education (CLEE) credit.

Police-Community Dialogue

The Taskforce's current project is developing a model for police-community dialogue, with the goal of creating an environment where police and community members can come together to build healthier relationships based on trust rather than fear, communicating and cooperating on equal terms to work towards a safer, more inclusive community. Additional details will be coming soon.

In the News

"Midstate police work to improve communication with communities," WITF, May 12, 2015

"Police & the People, Episode 3: The Community Response," WHBG TV, March 6, 2015

For more information, please contact: Amanda Arbour, Racial Justice Program Coordinator at AArbour@ywcahbg.org or (717) 234-7931 x3057.

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