Local media, police participate in Trust Talks

Local media, police participate in Trust Talks
November 16
04:00 2017

On Tuesday, Nov. 7 the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department invited various members of the media to sit down with officers with the local police department for another edition of “Trust Talks.”

The Human Relations Department has been organizing Trust Talks with various members of the community since 2011. Over the years, high school students, clergy, police officers, and community members with concerns about safety have all participated in variations of the open discussion but, this was the first-time officers sat down with members of the media.

During the open discussion held at City Hall, several topics of concern came up including, police biases, media reporting, national versus local stories, and fostering mutual respect and accountability. Following a group discussion, participants were put into smaller groups, where they had more personal conversations.

Police Chief Catrina Thompson said she thought it was necessary to bring the media and police together because both have a responsibility and obligation to the people of this community. She said, “You’re trying to serve the same population of awesome residents that we’re trying to serve.

“We want to see how we can come together and be as effective as we possibly can. The fact that you are here lets us know that you are invested in Winston-Salem and our citizens as we are,” Thompson said.

Following the event, Human Relations director Wanda Allen-Abraha said she was pleased with what she saw during the group discussions. She said the Trust Talks serve as a great mediator to learn about other people and have important conversations that wouldn’t happen otherwise.

“This is a safe space where you can be frank and ask those questions that you’ve always had. We have guided questions but that doesn’t mean you can’t add to those questions or share your own opinion,” said Allen-Abraha. “I want everyone to feel like they can talk and open up.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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