Sen. Coons brings Delaware voices to Senate Law Enforcement Caucus event to find ways to improve police-community relations

Delaware and national law enforcement, community groups, and civil rights organizations join Senate Law Enforcement Caucus for dialogue on community policing

WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, hosted a virtual panel and discussion on community policing. The caucus event facilitated an open conversation to identify policies and strategies that would improve relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. 

The virtual event was attended by a range of law enforcement officers, community leaders, and civil rights organizations from across the country – including members of several organizations and community leaders in Delaware. The audience participated in a question-and-answer segment to exchange ideas and facilitate mutual understanding. 

Speakers at the event included several law enforcement officials and community leaders. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Karen Amendola, who serves as chief behavioral scientist for the National Police Foundation. The panelists included Reverend Dr. Donald Morton, executive director of the ReManned Project, Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware; Chief Gregory Mullen, associate vice president and police chief at Clemson University and former chief of police for Charleston, South Carolina; Chief Danny Whiteley, chief of police for Poplar Bluff, Missouri; and Bishop Mark Tolbert, board member of Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners.

“Bringing together voices from every part of our communities is essential to charting a productive path forward on policing reform. Right now, people are risking their lives to protest systemic inequalities amid ongoing economic and public health crises, and these protests have sparked long overdue conversations and put justified pressure on all of us to act. We must find a path forward, together,” said Senator Coons.“Building and maintaining trust between law enforcement and their communities is at the cornerstone of safety and crime reduction. Today’s discussion helped build mutual understanding and promote dialogue, and I’m glad to hear from Delaware voices as part of this national conversation. I’m committed to pursuing policing reform, and I hope these productive and open conversations will continue.”

“Community policing must move beyond programmatic idea to cultural revolution where there is value ascribed to humanness to those with and those without the badge,” said Dr. Morton, executive director of the ReManned Project, Inc.

“Community policing is more critical today than ever before.  It creates shared understanding and builds trust and respect that is vital to every community’s success.  It provides hope for police agencies and communities to come together around common goals and build strong relationships during this time of polarization,” said Chief Mullen, associate vice president for public safety and chief of police at Clemson University.