About the Grant
Drew University has received an operating support grant from AmeriCorps NJ, a division of the New Jersey Department of State.
As we at Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict have learned from our extensive local, regional and global peacebuilding work, with perseverance and sustained efforts involving effective methods and strategies, trust can be built and rebuilt. It begins with small steps and gestures aimed at demonstrating goodwill, as well as activities that encourage empathy and understanding.
Drew University, along with its law enforcement partners, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, aims to improve law enforcement and community relations in New Jersey. AmeriCorps members will play a vital role in the planning and execution of initiatives and activities that will address the culture of distrust between the community and law enforcement across the state.
Safer Communities Initiative Launch and Information Session
Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 10 am to 12 noon at Mead Hall
“There is no better time than now for police and the communities they serve to come together, and there is no better way than to join hands in working together toward this common goal. We feel it is our duty to help these communities in any way we can, and we invite you to play a significant part in this effort.”
– Jonathan Golden
Over eighty representatives from New Jersey law enforcement agencies and community leaders responded to our invitation to gather and discuss the AmeriCorps Safer Communities Initiatives. Speakers included Jared Maples, Director, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent New Jersey State Police, and Jim Isenberg, Ph.D. Executive Director of the New York Region of the North American Family Institute (NAFI) and founder of the Youth and Police Initiative.
Our Partners | Our Sites | Our Focus
The Drew University Community Policing Initiative is a comprehensive AmeriCorps program designed to improve police and community relations by promoting greater understanding, communication, and positive interaction between them.
The Community Oriented Policing Project Conflict Resolution and De-escalation Training AmeriCorps member service activity is focused on helping police better understand the communities they serve.
One AmeriCorps members’ project goal is public education, to avoid situations that may escalate to danger and violence towards the police and motorist.
AmeriCorps members will assist in the training of police officers, community leaders, and youth in conflict resolution and de-escalation training; analyze data on program effectiveness and participate in programs to build positive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Contact: Jonathan Golden, Director
Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict
36 Madison Avenue
Madison, New Jersey 07940
NJ Office of the Attorney General
The Police-Community Trust, Understanding and Cooperation AmeriCorps service opportunity works under the basic premise that law enforcement’s ability to do its duty protecting people may be jeopardized by the motorist’s view about law enforcement’s credibility. Bridging any gaps between community leaders and local law enforcement enhances the ability of police to carry out their duties.
AmeriCorps members will be assigned to work with the NJ Office of the Attorney General, in a collaborative effort with the Office of Community Justice and the Division of Criminal Justice (Prosecutors Supervision & Training Bureau) to assist with the planning and execution of activities and events that will strengthen law enforcement and community relationships on a statewide basis.
Contact: David S. Leonardis, Training and Outreach Liaison
New Jersey Office of the Attorney General | Division of Criminal Justice
Prosecutors Supervision & Training Bureau
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex | 25 Market St, Trenton, NJ 08611-2148
Additional AmeriCorps Members will be deployed by the Mercer and Hudson County Prosecutors Supervision & Training Bureau to assist the office (through Community Outreach Liaisons employed by this respective Offices) to address specific and identified needs of enhancing community engagement efforts in these locations.
Contact: Sergeant Natischa Clark | Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
209 S Broad St | Trenton, NJ 08608 | email@example.com
Carol Lamparello | Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office
595 Newark Ave | Jersey City, NJ 07306 | firstname.lastname@example.org
New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness
Through the Inter-Religious Engagement and Cooperation AmeriCorps service opportunity, members will play a vital role in the planning and execution of projects that create a forum where law enforcement, public officials, government agencies, grassroots community organizers, leaders of faith communities, educators, parents, and youth can come together to share their ideas and concerns with one another, while engaging in social activities and sustainable partnerships designed to bring police and public together in dialogue.
AmeriCorps members will be assigned to the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) located in Hamilton, New Jersey. Members’ primary task will be to work with the NJOHSP’s Interfaith Advisory Council, which brings together government agencies and the interfaith communities in the State to discuss topics to establish trust and build safer, more secure communities.
Contact: Patrick R. Rigby, Director of Communications | NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness
1200 Negron Drive | Hamilton, NJ 08690 | email@example.com
Raphael Ortiz and Julia Torres addressed AmeriCorps members at Drew University, December 2017
Patrick Rigby Honored by Peace Islands Institute at their 2017 Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner.
Learn more about the CRCC’s ongoing commitment to improving relationships between law enforcement and communities here.
Measuring Our Impact
CONFLICT RESOLUTION (CR) AND DE-ESCALATION TRAINING for Law Enforcement Officers, Community Leaders, and At-Risk Youth facilitated by AmeriCorps members. (Measuring Outcomes: CR)
TRAFFIC STOP AWARENESS to reduce arrests and violence at traffic stops through training videos. (Measuring Outcomes: Traffic Stop Education)
“Citizens of NJ were surveyed to test their knowledge of best practices on motor vehicle stops to help determine the need for motorist education. The survey itself was also analyzed and critiqued for potential changes beyond this study prior to further widespread use and data collection.”
– New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service, New Jersey Department of State
Read the article here.
Take our TRAFFIC STOP AWARENESS SURVEY here.
Read more about the need for public education in traffic stop behavior in our planning grant survey analysis at nj.gov. Learn more about the NJ Office of the Attorney General’s “Safe Stop” traffic education initiative here.
POLICE-COMMUNITY TRUST/YOUTH POLICE INITIATIVE builds on Jim Isenberg’s YPI Model and works for safer communities through increased familiarity and trust between youth, community, and police. (Measuring Outcomes: YPI)
INTER-RELIGIOUS ENGAGEMENT AND COOPERATION extending existing programs and initiatives through the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the NJ Office of the Attorney General, in a collaborative effort with the Office of Community Justice and the Division of Criminal Justice (Prosecutors Supervision & Training Bureau). (Measuring Outcomes: Interfaith Communication)
AmeriCorps programs do more than move communities forward; they serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce.
AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.
AmeriCorps members serving through the AmeriCorps Network (AmeriCorps State and National) funded programs serve with local and national organizations to address critical community needs related to disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and in support of veterans and military families.
AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 men and women in committed service each year at more than 21,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community groups across the country.
Learn more about AmeriCorps here.
Getting. Things. Done.
The AmeriCorps National Service Network
Join the Drew AmeriCorps team
Click here for more information and to apply to the Safer Communities AmeriCorps member opportunities at Drew University.