Playback Memphis fosters trust and goodwill between police and community

For the past six months Playback Memphis has joined the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center in working with over 70 community leaders from across the city and members of law enforcement from MPD, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Dept, Shelby County Juvenile Court and the District Attorney’s office to engage in a process of improving community police relations. This project is part of an effort to find community led and supported solutions to crime and violence in Memphis.

Playback PerformersMembers of a Community Circle and the Police Circle have met monthly in separate groups to open a dialog about the issues, both emotional and structural, that create barriers to more respectful and positive relations between the community and law enforcement. On November 16th these two circles merged and met together for the first time.

Although there was a great deal of anxiety on both sides that the meeting would potentially result in further polarization and greater distrust between the two groups, the meeting proved a huge success.

The Playback process created a safe space for participants to open up and speak honestly about many difficult subjects related to police/ community relations. Participants agreed that Playback served to break down barriers, enhance communication, and foster trust and goodwill between police and community, setting the tone for more engagements to come.

Playback Memphis is honored to be a part of this project. The MidSouth Peace and Justice Center invites you to a part of this process by joining the Community Police Relations circle and/or by hosting Town halls in your community.

Please contact Melissa Miller-Monie, Organizing Coordinator for Community Police Relations at [email protected].

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