Some weeks ago, the council approved an initiative from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to be involved with OneCOP. We are now moving forward as we have been assigned an officer who will partner with us in trying to decrease violence in our communities and increase a better understanding of the tensions in our communities.
The One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP), an initiative of MovementForward, Inc., is a proactive approach to addressing the tensions around police-involved incidents, as well as ongoing crime and violence in local communities.
The objectives of OneCOP incorporate the pillars of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing:
- Improving public safety through collaboration and information sharing to prevent, combat and solve crimes by tapping into the varied resources of faith-based institutions.
- Increasing community engagement with patrol-level police officers, via congregations, resulting in decreased bias, increased familiarity, mutual respect and trust.
- Proactively creating a direct link between law enforcement executives and community leaders in an effort to prevent violent responses to officer-involved crises while also giving voice to growing public concerns relative to policing.
In light of tensions currently felt between many communities and law enforcement professionals, leaders in every relevant sector must work cooperatively to improve and strengthen relationships between offices and communities before a negative scenario occurs in the local communities. The purpose of this innovative effort is to reduce mounting tensions between community members and law enforcement officers by building partnerships to create mutual understanding. (OneCOP Implementation Guide)
Our next step will be a meet and greet with Sergeant Paul Napoli. Hopefully, we will be able to introduce him one Sunday in October.
I look forward to giving you all updates as we plan future events involving Sergeant Napoli.