Minority Youth and Minority Police Officers trading places

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI – As part of the ongoing challenges facing law enforcement and the minority community, the Be the Change Turnabout Program was created to bridge the gap between the police and the community starting with the minority youth.  The program goals are:Macomb County Sheriff's Office

  1. Encourage young people to pursue a law enforcement career.
  2. Create empathy for the community by having law enforcement officers play the role of community members.
  3. Allow young people in the community to see law enforcement officers that look like them during a positive encounter.
  4. Educate young people on what guidelines and the framework that an officer operates in while doing his/her job.

The program consists of a partnership between One Macomb, Macomb Community College, PRAT LLC, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, City of Sterling Heights Police Department, and the City of Southfield Police Department.  The concept is the “Cops are the Community and the Community are the Cops”.

Eighty minority students from Macomb County High Schools (Dakota, Mount Clemens, Henry Ford II, Clintondale, Chippewa Valley and Utica) were selected by school administrators to participate in the program.  The selection criteria being that most of the students chosen are seniors and juniors from underrepresented populations.  The students will be given a brief lecture by (Judge King) on

  1. Lethal Force
  2. Domestic Violence (Arrest Criteria)
  3. Traffic Enforcement (Civil Infractions vs. Misdemeanors)

The students will then be assigned to one of the five different groups and proceed to scenario.  Each group rotating every 30 minutes.

Each student will go through the following scenarios on that day:

  1. Domestic Violence
  2. Traffic Stop (Language Barrier)
  3. Suspicious Situation
  4. Traffic Stop (Racial Profiling)
  5. MILO (Firearms Simulation System)

All of the actors in the scenarios are minority police officers or corrections deputies most of whom work in Macomb County Police Agencies.  At the conclusion of the day once all the students have participated in the scenarios a debriefing will be held to talk about the program objectives.

This program will take place on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at the Macomb Community College Emergency Training Service Center and will be an integral part of the progress towards the police and community trust that needs to take place in our community.

Confirmed participants are; Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive;  Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, Macomb County Sheriff; Anthony Lewis, Michigan Department of Civil Rights; Judge Kenneth King, 36th District Court; Darnell Blackburn, Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards; Chief Dale Dwogiakowski, Sterling Heights

“We have to be the change we want to see.  Change is most effective from the inside out not the outside in.  If police agencies don’t want to be integrated then they should be infiltrated.  The demographics of cities, counties and states are changing drastically and in order to better serve all police agencies should look like all.”

WHAT: Be The Change Turnabout Program (role reversal between cops and minority youth)

WHERE: Macomb Community College Emergency Service Training Center 21901 Dunham Rd., Clinton Township, MI 48038

WHEN: 8:30AM – 2:00PM Saturday, March 17, 2018

CONTACT: Darnell Blackburn 313-629-6011

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