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Group Discusses Understanding Between Residents and Law Enforcement

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A conversation on race relations and law enforcement began with the background of police agencies, and quickly moved into how technology has impacted interaction between police and urban communities.  

Panelist Robert Hanser, Criminal Justice Department Head at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, says there is a new level of transparency in the age of cell phone videos.  He says as officers respond to any situation there has to be awareness that their actions could be documented by a passerby.  

 
Fellow panelist Michael Abrams with Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow, feels there should be more training and reviews of officers and their interaction with the public.  
 
 
Audience member Rev. Willie Mabry says a better relationship could be achieved by programs connecting communities to law enforcement agencies.  "It's a matter of partnering with the police department.  We need to get back to a good understanding of the police department that the community is not against them, but that they are there to protect us," said Mabry.
 
 
He says there is some work underway to begin a dialogue between a group of pastors and law enforcement officials to improve understanding and communication of both sides.

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