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Officers in Pews; Pastors in Police Cars: How One Program Allows Police and the Community to Walk a Mile in Each Other's Shoes

Officers in Pews; Pastors in Police Cars: How One Program Allows Police and the Community to Walk a Mile in Each Other's Shoes Read Transcript

- all get along.

Can we get along?

- [Amber Strong] Division between police

and certain communities is nothing new,

and while many enjoy anamicable relationship

with law enforcement,social media shines a light

on the division and broken trust.

But in Indianapolis, membersof the faith community

and law enforcement hopeto exchange vantage points,

and walk a mile in each others shoes.

All thanks to a program called One Cop.

- The one things really uniqueand special about one cop

is that it's really focusedon beat police officers.

These are the people who,if they're doing their job

correctly are literallywalking up and down the block.

- [Amber Strong] And it's something this

community sees most everyday.

What they don't usually seeis a nun in a police car,

or police officers seatedin pews during the week.

Church leaders also get to trytheir hand at being officers,

facing the challenge ofsplit-second decision.

- Or what?

You're drinking!

- [Amber Strong] The teamat One Cop believes churches

are uniquely positioned tobreak down any walls existing

between the police and thosethey are sworn to protect.

- To walk the streets, Ithink, with a police officer

would be an eye opening experience.

- [Amber Strong] Pastor JimWright jumped at the opportunity

to be a liaison and perhaps more.

- Introducing them the community

and being a host sitefor the community would

be a really good way ofconnecting the community

with the police officers, withus as the bridge, and then,

Lord willing, opening up thedoor to share the gospel.

- Local law enforcement are also

eager to open doors and makea good first impression.

If you commit a crimehere in Indianapolis,

you're likely to wind up here,at the Marion County Jail,

where you'll be greeted by a member

of the sheriff's department.

Well, local law enforcementare hoping to change all that

and build a relationshipwith the community

before they wind up jail.

Marion County Sheriff,John Layton, hopes renewing

relationships can help cutdown on counter-productive

codes, like no snitching.

He also wants to create andbuild levels of respect.

- You shouldn't have to fear a uniform.

Ever fear a uniform.

But please respect it.

(crowd yelling)

- [Amber Strong] WhileLayton blames social media

for the growing antagonism,

he quickly admits mistakes have been made.

- There are tens of thousands of police

officers across the United States.

Every now and then, one steps out of line.

Sometimes it's a mistake of the head,

sometimes a mistake of the heart.

It's such a minusculepercentage of the police

that are out there everyday

dodging bullets, instead of sending them.

- Put your hands behind your back.

- I can't breathe!

- [Amber Strong] Even a few,however, can deepen the divide.

The 17 year old lay prone on the pavement

as the shots continued.

16 rounds in 14 seconds.

- [Jenna Bush Hager] The aftermathcaptured in graphic video

and streamed live on Facebookby the man's girlfriend.

- [Amber Strong] In Texas, forexample, tensions remain high

after Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger,

shot and killed 26 year old faith leader,

Botham Jean, inside his apartment.

Community leaders therequestion why Guyger

was able to stay on the jobfor so long after the shooting.

Indianapolis crime reporter,Steve Jefferson, points

out if and when incidentslike this happen,

transparency is important.

He's seen it work, so far, in Indy.

- The ongoing relationship,which still needs a lot of work,

has kept things from beingexplosive here in our city.

- [Amber Strong] He creditsprograms like One Cop

and other faith based initiatives

for helping calm things down.

Prevention is key and Jefferson adds

that training goes a long way.

- Our department here inIndianapolis, now actually

teaches officers not to let their biases

impact their work on the street.

We all expect to be treateda certain way by the police

and I think them knowing how to deescalate

a situation, rather it be a traffic stop,

rather it be trying toID a young black man who

you think is trespassing.

- [Amber Strong] As a deaconhimself, Jefferson knows

the church can play a majorrole in building relationships.

- Pastors need to do, is take advantage

of their captive audience,because if they can get

the message to theparents of the children,

then the children can getthe message from the parents.

- [Amber Strong] SheriffLayton is optimistic,

because mutual respectand, basically living by

the Golden Rule, will successfully bring

churches, the community, andlaw enforcement together.

- We can start respect again.

Not just for the uniform,

but for the people in those churches.

- [Amber Strong] Amber Strong,CBN News in Indianapolis.


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