'Let's come together.' Raleigh event aims to bridge gap between community and law enforcement

12December 2021

— The goal during an event at Tupper Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh on Sunday was to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.

The event’s keynote speaker was new Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson.

Event organizers said bettering the community’s relationship with police can all start with a conversation.

“Let’s come together, lets reason and let’s talk,” said senior pastor H.C. Mills.

Community members and neighbors packed into Tupper Memorial Baptist Church for the first Law Enforcement and Community Day of Unity, including Patterson.

Newest law enforcement officers hope to build bridges in communities they serve

“I thought, what an opportune time to talk to her and have her talk to us,” said Mills.

Patterson told the event’s crowd that it’s a win-win when every officer is engaging with families in the community.

“We begin with creating the culture where officers are in the community [and] that they’re not separated,” said Patterson.

But, Patterson said it’s not all about officers engaging with the community. Rather, it’s a two-way street.

“It’s very important to me that members of the community reach out to us,” said Patterson.

Patterson added that police are not a law enforcement agency, and that she wants everyone to unify and come together.

Police car crime scene night

Miller agreed with Patterson’s sentiments.

“Let’s talk; let’s see if we can find a better way then being on the other side of the street arguing with each other and having problems,” said Miller.

Miller added that he hoped Sunday’s event was one of many to come in the future.

“I’m hoping it’ll be a springboard into some dialogue and some future events,” he said. “Today can be a start. It can be that.”

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