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I live in Stockton, CA. Our police chief, Eric Jones, initiated a Community Reconciliation program about 3 years ago. He recognized that the significant distrust of police among several communities and neighborhoods was not going to be rebuilt without acknowledgement of past wrongdoings by the Stockton Police Dept and active, transparent efforts to change those systems. Chief Jones and the recently retired Captain Scott Meadors created a program to train officers on the systemic racism and injustice that their department had perpetuated. The officers would then participate in small community sessions, where half the room were plain-clothes officers and the other half were community leaders and residents. The sessions went into detail about the abuses of power and privilege and gave both officers and residents a chance to constructively share their perspectives on how these past abuses show up in their lives (i.e. racial profiling, fear of retaliation or death). I've participated in these sessions. They are extremely powerful. I don't have the data, but they have certainly been a catalyst for amazing, healing conversations and the mobilizing of some community groups to continue these conversations with their neighbors in an ongoing effort to build trust between community and law enforcement. It will take decades to undo the effects of systemic racism in our government structures, especially now with so much understandable rage, but this has been an effective tool in our community. The link below offers a profile of this program by CityLab in 2019.

https://www.citylab.com/equity...conciliation/600544/ 

--Amy Portello Nelson

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