The City of Erie Police Department continues to bring law enforcement officers and the Erie community together by using several policing programs.
The Strengthening Police and Community Partnership, Police Athletic League and Community Outreach Program are programs to build relationships with Erie residents, particularly the youth.
All three programs are about opening conversations and strengthening the relationships among the community.
The City of Erie Police Officers will go to Erie schools and community centers to mentor the youth on policing and life.
Several Erie officers say these programs have become the model to break barriers.
“We’re trying to destroy that narrative of us versus them and show people that listen ‘together we are better,’ and so that’s the overall message,” said Michael Outlaw, community liaison, City of Erie.
“The relationships that we’re building is a long term process, is a baby step process. I may not even be here by the time the fruits of this may show itself, but I do believe in the future that it’s going to benefit in a positive way,” said Jamie Russo, corporal, City of Erie Police Department.
The Strengthening Police and Community Partnership Program is one of the policing programs that is piloted in Erie by the U.S. Department of Justice.