Empathy Cafe: Talk With the Cops: Better Relationships between Communities and Police
Join Police2Peace and the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy for an interactive listening session of community members and police professionals engaging very specific empathy skills which makes listening much more effective. Listening to people and being empathic is foundational to police being Peace Officers engaging in procedural justice.
This session will teach very specific empathy skills, provide practice in these skills and give you the tools to bring these valuable listening skills back to your agency or community and answer this question: How can we build better relationships between the community and the police? The secret is mutual empathy. Tune in and find out how.
Testimonials - Feedback
S5 - John
Hey, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I appreciate all the hard work that everybody's putting in tonight. That's super important. And, you know, the feedback that I have is, I happen to be a retired police officer, founder of the hate blue initiative, if you have a chance to look it up. But most importantly, that I was the only police officer in the room in our room, and I'm retired. So my only feedback would be that I honestly feel like our room should have had about 60 police officers in it right. And that there should have been a lot of, you know, a lot of police officers listening to the incredible stories that were shared in these rooms tonight. So thank you so much. And I look forward to the next one.
Well, it was really very inspiring for me. I'm familiar with empathy from the NVC point of view. I enjoyed the empathy that was used here. I'm really encouraged that there are people who are so dedicated to bringing dialogue between the people that we pay to protect us and the communities that are being protected. So kudos to this movement. I'm very grateful to have been able to participate.
S6 - Julian
Thank you. First of all, I want to say thank you to all the facilitators, this was really eye opening. I'm with the police Advisory Commission in Philadelphia, and we work with the police department to better the relationship between the police and the community. But from today, I really took away I have a tendency to talk really fast a lot of the time. And this gave me an opportunity to slow down and to really understand what I was getting across to other people and how and being deliberate about the information that I wanted them to take away from it and getting them to better understand what I was saying rather than just spewing a bunch of information. So I learned a lot and I look forward to future programs.
I was, one of the group facilitators and to begin with I just wanted to say thank you to, to John, to Pan to Sally to Janet I had a really an incredible enjoyable experience. And I'm involved with the empathy empathy movement with Edwin's group. And it's interesting because being in this group, I was reminded about all the experience that I had being first and Explorer as a child. I have actually gone through a police academy.
I've been work with community policing, work closely with a police officer when I worked for the city of San Jose. And similar to Liam Neeson, I have a particular set of skills. And I'd like to take those skills and be more involved in the community policing, helping to bridge. To help to bring the community and police departments together. So this was a really good experience for me. And I just wanted to say thank you, for those who organized this event.
I have a particular issue in my little Township, actually, I was right outside Philadelphia, Julian, Springfield Township. I was so looking to be able to talk with a police officer in my group. There was no police officer in my group, but I found that I it was very rich. In any event, I was glad to focus on listening. And it was really with a group of special people.
Hi, thanks. We had a great group. But I really wanted to talk about how can we and John Verde and the other law enforcement folks, this could be so wonderful and helpful and powerful. We need to get more law enforcement officers to these events. And I think you have the credibility, you have the relationships, you know. If you can tell us how to invite the I know there's an International Association of Chiefs of Police, there sheriff's associations, there's unions, there's different groups of law enforcement folks, to let them know about this and the value so we can get an equal balance of law enforcement officers and the community together.
Well, I'd echo what others have said. But add that I found it to be a really valuable exercise, because we're not used to listening carefully. But I think it'd be really valuable to do this as sort of the first step in a longer process. So once you want to get used to hearing other people and knowing what different opinions or knowing different approaches are, then you can get to work on other things as well like deliberating over issues, and coming up with new ideas, brainstorming hashing out. So I don't see it as a standalone really, but I think it's it was, I was in the same group as Betsy and I thought it went really well.
As a police officer, I just want to say thank you to everybody that attended like this, this is huge, and it's necessary. And then a lot of in my group, we had some really great conversation. And there was a need to learn and understand more. Check out your local police department or Sheriff's Office. Many of them have citizens police academies. And so that might be a way to learn more to get engaged to understand and to build a little bit of a relationship. So again, I appreciate everybody for taking the time to do this.
We did have a police officer and we had a great conversation. We're able to listen to everyone's point of view and really get a greater understanding of both sides actually. So I'm very happy to see that there are some people here from my City Philadelphia. Thank you guys for showing up. I truly appreciate it. Please stay in touch and continue with the process. If you need any help in any way with just let me know because I am a facilitator and be a trainer soon. So please, this is important to me. And I want to see this fully implemented to our police department.
Thanks, everyone, for being here. I've heard comments that this should be more widely in police. We emailed 1000s of police department, we had over 600 signups on LinkedIn, all policing, and people are busy. With that said, we are doing our best to get this out there. So if you'd like to bring this to your community, reach out to me, I will put my email in your in the chat. And our website.
This is what we do our motto, we unite police departments and communities around programs that uplift and heal them. So Philadelphia, all of the other cities, we would love to be working in your city, we're a nonprofit. And there's really nothing in it besides our desire for rifle policing, and heat appeals communities. So thank you so much for being here, and just wanted to express my gratefulness. And also, this is being done. And we are going as broadly as we can into policing. Thank you.
Our group, it was it was very good. We all said that we got a lot out of the conversation. And, you know, you just get to hear different people's perspectives. And it's, it's just good. The unfortunately, we did not have a police officer in the room. And I heard several of us say, we wish there was one, if for no other purpose, but to get their perspective on some of the suggestions we will make and to, you know, bridge the divide. I talked to a police officer one time about training, and retired officer. And that officer said police officers respond when they are mandated to attend training. That's, that's true. Okay. So, you know, I'll just, you know,
We had a terrific group. And we did have a police officer who was very impressed and love the process. And I think we're going to hear more from him. And I think the consensus in the group as we need this, we were just starting out the first little bits of conversation, but there was so much that everybody wanted to share. So like, what it's like to be a black mother and have your kid, even as an adult, you never know, you know, there are targets. So it was great. Thank you.
We had a really wonderful group is just so many insights and the feeling of connection and the warmth was was quite amazing. Really one of the takeaways for me was is that you know, building positive direction, you know, building trust building connection, building community, the it's sort of a building spiral you one thing builds on the other and you go in a positive direction, or you can go in a negative direction where people feel mistrusting, the more mistrusting they feel the more they withdraw, the more the mistrust grows. So the importance of to go in a positive direction, you have to prime the pump sometime. And I think the empathy circle Prime's the pump in terms of getting people just starting to talk to each other in a safe, constructive way. So that was a real insight that I took away.
I was just very deeply moved by what happened in our circle, really grateful for the facilitation and leadership that Faith offered. And I guess my takeaway was it, you know, no matter how often we do this, or even if it's a topic that we've explored before, it's like, every time is new, because the people, the human beings who are in the room, have their own stories. And, it's just I am deeply moved and deeply grateful. So thank you to all the organizers, and all the participants.
I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the space with my group. All of us had wonderful things to offer to the dialogue. AndI can't remember if it was you or Ed that mentioned leaving space for just emotion. And that happened in our group that they, you could feel the emotion coming up. And then there was the question. Okay, well, what do we do with that? When we're listening? How do we keep space for, we're getting emotional. I'm not trying to hold back the tears. And we all talked about that, and how this is a safe enough container for us to allow for that to happen, and to leave room space for the room to breathe in order for that to take place.
So I thought it was wonderful. I also think that we could have used a little more time. But again, it was just great sharing this space with everyone. And I really, really appreciate it. Selena also assisted in that was awesome, too. And yeah, that was it. It was a great experience. It was nice to be a part of that dialogue.
I think that the world should be filled with people that are here. Because we were open to listening. And too many people are closed, and won't listen, or won't hear. I have a vessel that would flow for probably 15 minutes about life and his experiences and the hurt and being a black mother and raising a black man, that's now an adult male and still worrying about him. Every day, this was wonderful. I don't know how I got here. I kept saying that to the people in my group. And, and I guess, you know, you're led to be in different places. So I'm very grateful for being here. And I'm hoping that someone sends me email and invites me again. Thank you.
I just wanted to say that I've been doing this with Lou and and Edwin for a long time, and we used to go back when these things were happening to protests. And where there were Trump supporters and anti fascists taking each other on and Neo Nazis and all All kinds of people. And, you know, this kind of conversation feels really good that we've been having today. But I, you can imagine, I think, and it's really true that you can have really difficult conversations. As long as you can keep people in the process, and have a facilitator who's able to keep people there, sometimes it's taken two of us to keep somebody in the conversation.
I just want to impress on people that you can really take on things that are almost impossible otherwise and you don't need, you don't need professional facilitators, you just need to practice. And it's been my fantasy anyway, that somebody's in a conflict somewhere, you know, would take this on and would actually really get somewhere and it would be come a model for how communities can do these things themselves. And it's, you know, we haven't, we ended up Edwin and his team has ended up training a lot of people hoping these things would happen. I'm really happy to see so many people here. So thank you.
Sure, there's two really important things that I think are essential for any conversation like this. And they're, they really haven't been addressed. And one of them is how we use language, and the other is self esteem. And, you know, I believe that I view the world or I experienced the world based on how I feel about myself. And so my self esteem plays an important role in how I experience anything or any human interaction that I have with anyone. The other thing is how I use language, and how language can shape any conversation or any human interaction. And these are things that I think are important for future conversation. Language is essential. And the self esteem is essential. And so hopefully, those things will be a part of, you know, conversations in the future. Thank you. Thanks, join. That's it.
Yes, this is my first time coming to this. And I hit just wondered, I think it's a really valuable way to start community. Talking with the police, I think it's a really great way to do it. And I had just wondered if, if you and pleased two peas have gotten together and actually done some crisis intervention with communities and police over, you know, certain issues that are going on in their communities?
I'll respond to that. Betsy, the answer is police to peace does do that work around the nation, we are called into police involved shootings and cities with violent that have undergone violence. With listening sessions. We haven't done this type of listening session, we typically do very much more structured listening sessions because of the nature of the situation and the tender hooks that people are on. But what we want to do, and when we do that we send in the team and it's very intensive, and they go around the nation. With that said, this is a way for more agencies to begin to use that which is what we want, why we wanted to partner up with the Center for building a culture of empathy to get it to everyone. And we hope to be doing these every couple of months and have more and more policing agencies and community members join and get the word out. And that's I'd love to follow up with you for Philadelphia because yes, we do that kind of work.
Yeah, there was one message in the chat that I did want to raise up a little bit because I thought it was a helpful comment that said that police officers might need lots of empathy before they feel emotionally safe to listen to community members. And I think likewise, some community members might need a lot of empathy before they feel safe to listen to a police officer. So I just wanted to say that. I think sometimes it you know, I think that empathy is great. And sometimes it might be helpful to have little, I forget what you call it. Affinity Groups are like that. And so people learn the process first, in a situation where it's a little easier because they're learning the process with with like, groups, and then the next step is to be able to listen to each to each other across different experiences. And so, anyway, I'm a fan and thank you all. This has been awesome.