Middle Tennessee State University is partnering with a national law enforcement organization to provide a virtual workshop and discussion Feb. 25 with the campus community about the relationship between police and the community.
Titled “The Law and Your Community: A Candid Conversation with Law Enforcement and the Community,” the free virtual training will be held beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. Participants should register in advance at http://bit.ly/MTNOBLE.
MTSU’s Social Justice and Equality Initiative is hosting the Zoom event geared toward students in conjunction with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, or NOBLE, which is currently led by MTSU criminal justice professor Lynda Williams, who will help facilitate the discussion.
“I am proud that NOBLE is continuing its partnership with MTSU to host this seminar and conduct a dialogue of the tumultuous times in which we live,” said Williams, who retired from the Secret Service in 2017 before coming to MTSU. “This collaboration will provide an interactive opportunity for the student body to better know their rights and to view law enforcement as guardians of our community, not warriors.”
“The Law and Your Community” is a nationally recognized hands-on training program for young people designed to improve their communications with law enforcement officers and their understanding of their federal, state and local laws. The training features a variety of scenarios involving police-citizen interactions and includes recommendations such as how citizens should respond when stopped by law enforcement.
MTSU history professor Louis Woods, the Presidential Fellow for Social Justice and Equality and chair of the SJEI Task Force, said the event is part of the task force’s mission to provide an opportunity for the university and wider community to build a foundation for honest and open dialogue and impactful change.
“We want to provide students a forum to freely discuss issues such as policing while also offering useful, practical information that they can immediately put to use,” Woods said. “And this is also part of the task force’s goal of getting a comprehensive understanding of how students feel about the campus climate in a variety of areas.”
University President Sidney A. McPhee and University Provost Mark Byrnes appointed Woods to the fellowship last year and appointed the advisory task force made up of faculty, staff, administrators and students to research and gather information about specific areas of focus, then present recommendations for addressing them in meaningful ways.
Williams, who serves as vice chair of the task force, said the Feb. 25 workshop will be the first of a series of discussions about law enforcement interaction and engagement with the community.
For more information about the event, contact Williams at Lynda.Williams@mtsu.edu.
— Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)