FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Spencer Critchley, Acting Public Information Officer
Salinas Police Department Invites Department of Justice to Advise on Community Policing
Press conference scheduled for March 12 with the DOJ's COPS Office director, the US Attorney, and City officials
Salinas, CA, March 6, 2015 -- The US Department of Justice COPS Office (Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, www.cops.usdoj.gov) has accepted a request from Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin to consult with the Police Department on advancing improvements in police-community relations.
A press conference about the project will be held Thursday, March 12 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm at Sherwood Hall, 940 North Main Street, Salinas. Washington, DC-based COPS Office Director Ronald Davis and staff will join US Attorney for the Northern District of California Melinda Haag, Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter, City Manager Ray Corpuz, Chief McMillin and consultants from the Institute of Intergovernmental Research (IIR, www.iir.com), a nonprofit based in Tallahassee, Florida that provides training and technical assistance on justice and homeland security topics.
The COPS Office will also be inviting a group of community members and leaders to meet from 3:30 to 4:30 pm on the same day at the same location.
The COPS Office provides funding for community policing-oriented consulting under a program called the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA).
According to a CRI-TA guide:
"Using subject-matter experts, interviews, and direct observation, technical assistance providers will assist law enforcement agencies with enhancing and improving their policies and procedures, systems, culture, and relationship with the communities they serve. If appropriate, technical assistance providers can issue a series of recommendations, and be instrumental in assisting agencies with the implementation of those recommendations or finding the right resources to do so." (COPS FY2014 Application Guide, page 2, http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/2014AwardDocs/crita/2014-CRI-TA-AppGuide25.pdf)
"I'm delighted that the COPS Office has accepted our request for Collaborative Reform support," said Chief McMillin. "The COPS and IIR staff are experts in smart, enlightened law enforcement techniques, such as Legitimacy and Procedural Justice, and we hope they'll help us accelerate our progress in deploying them."
The CRI-TA project is separate from and supplemental to consulting by the Justice Department's Community Relations Service. Last May, Chief McMillin requested the services of the CRS to assist with community dialogue about officer-involved shootings. Conciliation Specialist Marquez Equalibria has since been consulting with community members, city officials, and the police department.
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