COLORADO SPRINGS — As our nation continues to grapple with systemic racism and police conduct, faith leaders and law enforcement officers across the country are teaming up to mend relationships and foster trust in black and brown communities.
This year, 500 community events, both virtual and in-person, were held in 43 states, including Colorado. They were organized between clergy, community leaders, and law enforcement to address the root causes of police shootings, as well as random attacks on officers.
"For the past several years, we've seen enormous and unprecedented strains in the relationship between law enforcement and communities," said Reverend Markel Hutchins, Lead Organizer of the agency. "What the last several years have shown us is that we cannot simply March and protest. We can not riot our way to a more equitable policing and criminal justice system in America. At some point, we have to turn our pain into power."
Organizers hope this collaboration will help leverage better relationships between law enforcement, and the communities they serve.
Reverend Hutchins also weighed in on the idea of defunding the police.
"The fact of the matter is if we need more funding to pay law enforcement professionals so we can recruit better quality, better trained, better equipped, better mentally sound law enforcement," Hutchins explained. "So, this idea of defunding the police is disgusting to me because I know who it hurts the most. It hurts people like the folks that live in the communities."
Each year the non-profit hosts a weekend full of sponsored events in October. For more information, click here.