NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release:  September 23, 2021
Contact:
Butch Ayers, GACP Executive Director | 770-495-9650
ayers@gachiefs.comLAW ENFORCEMENT GROUPS ANNOUNCE LARGEST POLICE-COMMUNITY OUTREACH INITIATIVE EVER

As crime escalates and tensions between police and some communities linger, law enforcement organizations are uniting with local communities for National Faith & Blue Weekend 2021 (October 8-11) to encourage dialogue and collaboration

Duluth, Georgia – The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, along with every major national law enforcement group, state and regional associations representing 47 states, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is partnering with Atlanta-based MovementForward, Inc.’s One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) initiative to jointly organize the most consolidated police-community outreach project in history – National Faith & Blue Weekend 2021 (Faith & Blue).  The effort is sponsored by FirstNet, Built with AT&T and the Motorola Solutions Foundation. The mission is to facilitate safer, stronger, and more unified communities by connecting law enforcement officers and residents through local faith-based and community organizations.

“For the past several years, we’ve seen enormous strains in the relationship between law enforcement and communities,” says MovementForward CEO and Faith & Blue lead organizer Rev. Markel Hutchins. “Recent times have proven that we cannot simply march and protest away the problems — we have to turn our pain into power,” continues Rev. Hutchins.  “Our pathway to progress around policing as a nation is a collaborative one that focuses on our commonalities rather than our differences.”

As the nation continues to grapple with recent discord between law enforcement and some of the communities they serve, Faith & Blue weekend will address the urgent yet longstanding need for authentic collaboration between law enforcement and residents. In its inaugural year of 2020, National Faith & Blue Weekend facilitated 1,000 community-led activities in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

“My hope is that the community and law enforcement will reach out to each other and join hands to reestablish and strengthen the positive relationships that are necessary for a safe society,” says Butch Ayers, Executive Director at Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

Collaborations between law enforcement and local groups – especially faith-based organizations – are invaluable force-multipliers for creating safer and more engaged communities. Faith & Blue will positively impact Americans by directly engaging community influencers, residents and law enforcement professionals in every state across the United States.

“Faith-based organizations and law enforcement groups are uniquely and deeply tied to their communities and it is through collaborative and respectful dialogue that common ground can be found, ” says Jason Porter, president, Public Sector and FirstNet, AT&T. “As America’s public safety partner, it’s our honor to support the grassroots effort of Faith & Blue to strengthen police-community relations in neighborhoods across the country.”

Faith & Blue 2021 is slated for Friday, October 8 – Monday, October 11, with planned activities such as community dialogues, peace marches, service projects and other interactive experiences to help foster ongoing, authentic and mutual community-law enforcement trust.

“Motorola Solutions Foundation is honored to support National Faith & Blue Weekend as it drives important conversations and strengthens connections between law enforcement and communities across the United States,” says Jack Molloy, Board Member, Motorola Solutions Foundation and Executive Vice President of Products, Sales & Services, Motorola Solutions.

Launched in October 2020 in the wake of the controversial deaths of George Floyd and other law enforcement-involved tragedies, Faith & Blue is an unprecedented national law enforcement-community engagement project involving dozens of state law enforcement professional associations, the federal government, and nearly every major national law enforcement group in the United States of America including:

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

Fraternal Order of Police

Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association

International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators

International Association of Chiefs of Police

International Brotherhood of Police Officers

Major Cities Chiefs Association

Major County Sheriffs of America

National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys

National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives

National Black Police Association

National District Attorneys’ Association

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Museum

National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives

National Police Foundation

National Sheriffs’ Association

Police Executive Research Forum

Secure Community Network

Small & Rural Law Enforcement Executive Association

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, United States Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

For more information about National Faith & Blue Weekend (Faith & Blue), visit www.faithandblue.org.

ABOUT Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police

The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police is the largest professional association for law enforcement administrators in Georgia, and one of the largest in the country. GACP promotes professional relationships, evaluates standards for the police profession, provides quality training to police leaders and exchanges information and experiences between those leaders.

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