“To professionalize the emerging community engagement sector of policing by instituting an annual specialized training, networking, and professional development conference for sworn and non-sworn personnel assigned to community engagement roles within law enforcement agencies across the nation.”
The 2023 Inaugural Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training (PLECET) National Conference has concluded. Please join us for the upcoming webinar on the launch of the Law Enforcement Community Engagement Network (LECEN) on June 6, 2023 at 12:00pm Eastern by registering here, and use the contact page to let us know of any questions.
MovementForward, Inc. (MFI), the Atlanta-based social change organization that hosts the acclaimed annual National Faith & Blue Weekend (Faith & Blue) with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), along with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Sheriffs’ Association will convene the inaugural Professionalizing Law Enforcement–Community Engagement Training (PLECET) Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, May 3-6, 2023. The conference will feature a premiere group of instructors, speakers, presenters, community leaders, scholars, researchers, and community engagement practitioners with proven successes.
Research has shown, and community members and law enforcement professionals agree, enhanced and expanded training for public safety personnel is needed to reduce crime, build trust, and enable successful police-community collaboration. Improved academy and in-service instruction addressing de-escalation, mental health, human trafficking, and opioid overdoses, among others, are already being implemented across the nation. As crime rates rise, communities and police also concur that strong community–law enforcement partnerships are increasingly requisite for public safety. Yet, there is a colossal lack of training and professional development opportunities for community engagement roles, including chaplains, within the law enforcement profession.
While many agencies participate in community outreach programming such as National Faith & Blue Weekend, Police Athletic Leagues, Coffee with a Cop, National Night Out, Shop with a Cop, and citizen police academies, to name a few, there currently is no comprehensive law enforcement recruit or in-service training available for public safety professionals tasked with community engagement and outreach. This stands apart from how law enforcement professionals assigned to forensics, narcotics, school safety, fleet maintenance, investigations, hostage negotiation, public information, and other specialized functions all have targeted, unique training and networking opportunities through which they have access to best practices, peer support, industry expertise, and current research.
Based upon tenants of Intergroup Contact Theory, the inaugural PLECET Conference will begin to “professionalize” the critical and highly specialized community engagement sector of the law enforcement profession. Designed for law enforcement personnel with community engagement and outreach responsibilities, the conference attendees will also include agency heads, researchers, municipal staff and officials, nonprofit representatives, communications professionals, and technologists.
The conference will utilize a standard workshop, caucus, and plenary structure with planned opportunities for networking. After an opening plenary session with prominent national leaders, each participant will take eight separate courses. The training will include workshops with an instructionally designed curriculum constructed to equip community engagement officers with best-in-class competencies to maximize their potential impact in local communities. The conference will culminate in a national town hall meeting focused on effectively utilizing community engagement to reduce crime and build trust. Local, state, federal, tribal, and campus law enforcement agencies throughout the United States will attend.
During the conference, a new Law Enforcement Community Engagement Network (LECEN) of law enforcement professionals will be formed to provide ongoing training, peer support, access to critical information, and networking.
Every year that MFI has directed National Faith & Blue Weekend, inquiries have been received from law enforcement community engagement leads who are enthusiastic about holding community events but often lack sufficient knowhow to maximize the opportunity. While most agencies have good program concepts, many lack the expertise, organizational capacity, and/or resources required to implement their ideas. Further, most agencies have not received any form of training on how to best engage with and involve community members, or how to promote their outreach programs, events, and ongoing activities. Others have successfully organized impactful events but lack the expertise to transform these activities into long-term and sustained strategic partnerships that reduce crime and increase mutual trust. These are just a few examples of the community engagement training gaps that will be addressed during the PLECET Conference.
TRAINING AND SESSION TOPICS
Harnessing the Power of Community-Police Partnership
Community Outreach Before, During, and After A Crisis
Community Engagement 101 – Developing and Implementing a Strategic Plan
Planning and Executing Impactful Community Events
Technology Tools to Support Community Collaboration
Engaging Community Partners to Reduce Gun Violence and Other Violent Crime
Building an Organization-Wide Culture of Community Engagement
Leveraging Community Partners for Recruitment, Retention, and Wellness
Creating and Implementing a Community-Focused Communications Strategy:
Building Connections Across Differences
Tested and Proven – Case Studies of Effective Community Engagement Practices
Technology Tools to Support Community Collaboration