MADISON —Today Not Tomorrow-Club TNT, in collaboration with the Madison Police Department, will launch The Peacemakers at a press conference to be held on Thursday, February 13, 2 p.m. at the Neighborhood House,.
The Madison Police Department (MPD) has a value system that is based on a strong emphasis of community policing, evident through the MPD neighborhood officers and community response teams. However, there remains a need for additional avenues and ways for the general public and especially young people ages 16-29 to gain improved understanding about their rights and responsibilities as a citizen involved in creating and maintaining a safe community. The Peacemakers is a creative attempt to create a firm bridge of cooperation between the police officers and the citizens they serve.
As the Madison community becomes more urban, it attracts not only highly educated and professional individuals, but also those coming solely to seek a safer place to raise their children. In some cases, these are individuals who often come from more highly dense neighborhoods and places where police departments do not incorporate community-based problem solving and trust initiatives. A vast number of Madison citizens, youth and adults, do not understand how law enforcement works, and what their individual rights and responsibilities are. The Peacemakers assist in forging and strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and neighborhoods.
The three main components of The Peacemakers are community forums, speak outs and educational video vignettes. These will enable participants to better understand the philosophy, values, and practices of the MPD. Topics will include neighborhood and school relations; rights of schools and students; rights during stops on the street or traffic stops.
With the input from community leaders and MPD, four initial neighborhoods have been selected as sites for The Peacemakers: the Marquette/Williamson, Darbo Worthington; Brams Addition and Theresa Terrace/Hammersley Rd neighborhoods.
In today’s environment where local governments have implemented such laws as Stand Your Ground and Wisconsin's Castle Doctrine, it becomes increasingly important to help ordinary citizens become aware of and understand how these laws impact their lives and what they must do when confronted with certain situations. In addition, racial profiling remains a problem across the country. Our neighorhoods are ever-changing. Many individuals have come to our city and neighborhoods who not only may have language barriers, but also may not be familiar with laws and common customs.
The Peacemakers is funded in part by the Emerging Opportunities Grant of the city of Madison. The Madison Times is a media sponsor for this initiative.
For more information on The Peacemakers, contact Jeanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-770-2049