Up & Coming Weekly

October 01, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 10 of 36

10 UCW OCTOBER 2-8, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Fayetteville Police Chief Gina V. Hawkins testified on community policing practices before the U.S. House Judiciary Commit- tee Sept. 19. She appeared on behalf of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, or NOBLE. Hawkins is trea- surer of the organization. e judiciary committee has oversight responsibility for federal and local police practices. Rep. Gerald Nadler, D-NY, chaired the meeting. "Without question, the vast majority of law enforcement officers serve honorably under difficult conditions, often risking, and sometimes losing, their lives to protect us," Nadler said. "ere have been, however, a disturbing number of incidents of excessive force used by police against civilians — many of whom were unarmed, most of whom were people of color, and many of which re- sulted in tragic death — that have put incredible strain on the relationship between law enforce- ment and their communities. "We should consider legislative proposals to end racial profiling and to restore trust between law enforcement and the com- munity. And we should explore ways to strengthen data collection on the use of force and racial profiling so police departments can measure the practices they manage," Nadler said in his opening remarks. Committee Ranking Member Rep. Doug Col- lins, R-Ga, said he was "concerned that my col- leagues on the other side of the aisle will turn today's hearing into a crusade against all law enforcement officers based on isolated incidents." Collins added, "We — as Congress and as Americans — are nothing without the rule of law and its fair and uniform enforcement." "My predecessor used technical assistance resources … to help the agency establish a strat- egy to improve engagement at all levels of the department and particularly with communities of color," Hawkins said. Her reference was to U.S. Department of Justice police assistance pro- grams that retired Fayetteville Police Chief Har- old Medlock sought out to improve local polic- ing. In his three-and-one-half years at the helm of the FPD, Medlock worked tirelessly to improve relations in the African American community. Chief Hawkins has said law enforcement agen- cies implement various strategies and methods to combat crime and ensure public safety. ose strategies extend beyond traditional models of responding to calls for service and often seek to increase crime prevention, intervention and response effectiveness. Community outreach, efficient resource distribution, crime mapping and data collection are concepts which comprise CompStat, a crime-reduction strategy that con- centrates on improving physical and social order in high-crime locations. "e safety of police officers and civilians alike depends, in large part, on the strength of the relationship between the police and the pub- lic," said Seth Stoughton, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and a former police officer. "Public distrust of the police can decrease cooperation with law enforcement, which can, in turn, lead to an increase in violent crime. Police distrust of the public, in turn, can lead to an in- crease in officer misconduct and the use of force, as well as the adoption of aggressive, zero-toler- ance tactics that further exacerbate the tension." Police Chief Hawkins goes to Washington by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins appeared before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee repre- senting the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

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