NC CRED, along with the Wake Forest University School of Law Criminal Justice Program, the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy, and the Wake Forest University Rethinking Community series, hosted a symposium on community-centered policing on Friday Nov. 3, 2017. The day-long event brought together stakeholders from law enforcement, district attorney offices, public defender offices, academia, and community organizations.

We opened with a virtual lecture from Professor Thomas Nolan that walked us through the history of policing in the United States to ground our other presentations. Participants then heard from clinical professors and police personnel about community-centered policing the panelists had engaged in. A video from the University of Chicago Law School highlighted the tensions black youth feel encountering the police. The next panel dove into these tensions by exploring how to overcome implicit biases present in police departments.

Kami Chavis and James Williams

After lunch, Professor David Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice gave the keynote address on his successful work ending the open air drug market in High Point through collaboration with the community. Following that, district attorneys for 14 counties in North Carolina spoke of interventions they use in their offices to promote equitable criminal justice. Finally we had a spirited discussion regarding how advocates and police can best work together to keep their communities safe while still allowing for the public to make their voices heard.

There were approximately 150 attendees throughout the day. Almost every presentation included a best practice for other stakeholders to implement or solutions for participants to take action on.

Packed House