Welcome to the Community Relations and Engagement Committee web page!
The CREC members have been active in developing new programs for youth, now having created its very own Youth Advisory Board. This group was initially formed as a sounding board for the committee’s programs to help kids of all ages, but also to empower our youth to be a part of our conversations. Although the number of involved students will ebb and flow as they grow older and graduate, the primary goal is to allow children to be a part of law enforcement’s goals and objectives to better understand how we can work together. The first topic that this group wanted to tackle was “bullying”. Through this, a video was recorded and shared with member agencies to help get a conversation started in schools all over Ohio on such a delicate topic. Teens have a unique perspective on a variety of issues and the committee hopes to foster those perspectives to keep them safer.
The Sharing Ohio’s Best program was created in 2019 to help recognize one agency per month for their work in community policing programs. Then, in collaboration with the Law Enforcement Foundation, local media is alerted to the agency’s selection thereby helping to further promote the positive stories in our State. The goal of this program is simple- magnify the results of community policing by showcasing the local successes that are working! This will continue to grow in numbers and reach.
Through the difficult months of 2020 with the pandemic and social unrest, the committee never blinked and continued to seek out the challenges of today’s law enforcement profession. We immediately sought partners to work with the committee and the OACP Executive Board to promote better relations. In the committee’s early days, the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio was a partner in furtherance of youth education in interacting with the police. In 2020, the same effort commenced to examine racism, use of force, and criminal justice reform. In 2021, this work remains a focus for the committee.
The NFL Hall of Fame is partnering with the OACP and CREC to promote a better understanding of what our officers go through and the challenges that lay ahead. Using recorded Zoom-style conversations, this project is hoped to bring brand new opportunities as we continue to work with our community partners. The 2020-2021 time brought a lot of challenging ideas and concepts to our profession. The committee hopes to highlight what is right about our profession and what does work. Through this means, it is expected to also find where we can improve.
While other ideas are in the infancy stages, including ways to help promote health and wellness in our profession, the committee is dedicated to examining brand new ways to approach problems. We know we cannot do it alone and need the full support of our member agencies. We are happy to assist where we can.
Chief Brandon Standley, CLEE
Chair, Community Relations and Engagement Committee