“Five Communities” exhibit highlights grassroots programs across the nation that are strengthening relationships between law enforcement and their communities
WASHINGTON—The National Law Enforcement Museum at the Motorola Solutions Foundation Building — the nation’s only museum that explores nearly every facet of American law enforcement opening to the public on October 13, 2018 — announced today the details of its first changing exhibition highlighting grassroots efforts to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The exhibit, entitled Five Communities, will provide visitors a look at specific programs developed in Cleveland, Dallas, Chicago, Somerville, Mass. and Charleston, S.C.
The 2,000 square foot exhibition sponsored by DuPont™ Kevlar® and located inside the Museum’s DuPont Gallery, will use striking original photography, text, and interactive elements to explore innovative ways in which communities have worked to improve the connection between police departments and community members.
“DuPont is proud to partner with the National Law Enforcement Museum,” said Steve Laganke, Global Life Protection Leader DuPont™ Kevlar®. “We have been an ardent supporter of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund since its inception in 1991, and fully support the Museum’s mission to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Visitors will be introduced to people whose dedication strengthened these bonds and will examine the community itself — the problems these communities grapple with and how they have worked towards change. Most of all, Five Communities will show how people who care about their neighbors and the place where they live can help solve difficult problems.
“Over the past 30 years, law enforcement agencies and community members have implemented efforts to heal conflicts within their communities and become more transparent in how they do their jobs,” said David L. Brant, Executive Director of the National Law Enforcement Museum. “The critical work of strengthening these relationships is never complete. We thought it was important to highlight some of the programs that have proven successful and hope they inspire communities and law enforcement agencies across the country to work together towards stronger relations.”
Visitors will actively participate in the exhibition, voting on the types of innovative programs they believe are most effective, and sharing their own experiences from their communities.
“Highlighting these programs and stories for our visitors continues the important discussions happening in communities across the country,” said Rebecca Looney, Senior Director of Exhibits & Programs at the National Law Enforcement Museum. “This exhibit reinforces our dedication to expanding and enriching the relationship shared by law enforcement and the communities.”
The programs featured in the exhibit include:
The Partnership for a Safer Cleveland brings together local agencies, organizations, and community leaders to make Cleveland’s neighborhoods safer. For 37 years, it has worked with the Cleveland (OH) Police Department to protect Cleveland’s young adults and prevent youth violence.
Project Unity was founded by Pastor Richie Butler in response to the July 7, 2016 killing of five Dallas-area police officers. To build a stronger community, Project Unity focused on creating dialogue around race relations in Dallas, connecting officers with youth in practical learning experiences, and fostering a “pulpit swap” among the houses of worship in Dallas.
Community Policing programs in Chicago are in the midst of a major overhaul. In 2017, a Community Policing Advisory Panel developed a series of recommendations based on information from numerous community listening sessions and surveys of citizens and officers. Those recommendations are being rapidly implemented within the city with the hope of re-forging the bond between the Chicago community and its police.
● Somerville, Mass.
The Center for Teen Empowerment hires and trains urban youth to lead their peers in a movement to strengthen the relationships between youth, police, and community. The program began in Boston’s South End neighborhood in 1992 and had an immediate impact — lowering youth street violence dramatically in a period dubbed “the Boston Miracle.” Since then, the program has flourished and spread to two new communities — Somerville, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New York.
● Charleston, S.C.
The 2015 shooting in Charleston’s Mother Emanuel Church that resulted in the death of nine parishioners was the catalyst for the Illumination Project. Then Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, Pastor Kylon Middleton, lifelong Charlestonian Margaret Seidler, and many others felt an obligation in the face of the tragedy to expand the department’s existing community outreach and create a program that would make their community even stronger.
The announcement of the Five Communities exhibit comes on the heels of the Museum’s recent launch of the “Affinity Project,” a partnership with the Charleston-based Illumination Project that aims to promote safer communities with curriculum and events that bring together police and community members for shared learning and constructive dialogue.
Five Communities is one of the many interactive and immersive exhibits inside the Museum including Take the Case, which invites visitors to use actual law enforcement techniques to help solve simulated cases, and 911 Emergency Ops, where visitors hear scripted incoming 911 calls and dispatch first responders to intercede. Together, these exhibits and programs help tell the rich story of American law enforcement and invite visitors to engage in shared learning and crucial conversations around law enforcement in America.
The National Law Enforcement Museum at the Motorola Solutions Foundation Building will open its doors to the public on Saturday, October 13, 2018. For more information and tickets, please visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.