The Charlottesville Police Foundation is supporting a new program happening at the Charlottesville Police Department called "100 Conversations." Chief Brackney has brought this program to Charlottesville from Pittsburg, where she successfully ran it during her time there. The program involves asking fifty sworn police officers to initiate and develop new relationships with two members of the community. Relationship development is fostered by each officer purposefully creating opportunities for meeting with and getting to know their community members. These meetings take place throughout the year in a variety of settings including meeting for coffee, meeting for ice cream, meeting for lunch, etc.
Officers are encourages to seek out relationships with members of the community who might not have favorable relationships with law enforcement. Even when perspectives may differ between the two individuals, the importance of hearing why they differ may softened the edges of that disagreement. More importantly, over time a better understanding of an individual may afford that person’s organization, if not good will, at least the benefit of the doubt where it otherwise may not be found.
Thank you to the local businesses who are supporting this program through donations of gift cards for use by officers to conduct these meetings. Ben & Jerry's, Shenandoah Joe, and Greenberry's - we appreciate your support!
Click here to see coverage of the program by NBC29.