Birmingham has worked with the National Network since 2014, and is a pilot site for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.
Birmingham started its work with the National Network for Safe Communities in the fall of 2014. Under the leadership of Project Manager Jarralynne Agee Birmingham GVI held its first call-in in June, 2015. A strong core of leaders including Mayor William Bell and Chief AC Roper has contributed to Birmingham's rollout of the Group Violence Intervention. The city continues to hold call-ins every three months, and is developing a schedule for custom notifications that will enable Chief Roper to attend and help deliver the anti-violence message.
Birmingham is also one of pilot sites for the work of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. The NI focuses on issues of procedural justice, implicit bias, and reconciliation with the goal of improving relationships and building trust between law enforcement and those it serves.
Highlights from Birmingham VRI
Aseante Hylick, formerly of the NNSC, reflects on her experiences facilitating police-community reconciliation in cities around the US.
"The survey found that while residents of these neighborhoods are distrustful of police, they nevertheless want to cooperate and partner with police to make their communities safer. A door-to-door survey in high-crime neighborhoods of six cities found that less than a third of residents believe police respect people’s rights, but the vast majority believe laws should be strictly followed and many would volunteer their time to help police solve crimes, find suspects, and discuss crime in their neighborhood."
"Mayor William Bell and Police Chief A.C. Roper are promising residents that they are doing everything they can to prevent what happened in Dallas."
"A local radio station followed around Birmingham Police Officer B. Steward. He has been a walking beat cop since the city implemented the Violence Reduction Initiative (VRI) last year. Steward is a utility officer, meaning he doesn’t have a set beat. He patrols different neighborhoods almost everyday and he likes it. The change gives him opportunities to meet people in neighborhoods all over west Birmingham, he says."Esther Ciammachilli,WBHM
A profile of the effectiveness and innovation of Brimingham VRI.
"In June, 2015, The Birmingham Police Department introduced the Violent Crime Reduction Initiative." Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper spoke about the progress that has been made through the program.
"Teams of Birmingham police officers, including Chief A.C. Roper, hit the streets in the western portion of the city [in December] to let both the criminals, and the residents, know they care and they are watching."
"Teams of Birmingham police officers, including Chief A.C. Roper, hit the streets in the western portion of the city today to let both the criminals, and the residents, know they care and they are watching."