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“Safe haven” churches could be a bridge between police and community

“Safe haven” churches could be a bridge between police and community

Delaware Public Media reports on an idea from the Police Advisory Council in Wilmington to enable and enhance communications between police and the communities in which they serve.

[The] Reverend Patricia Downing, Director of Trinity Episcopal Church in Wilmington, is on the council.

She says one of the council’s suggestions is to designate community centers and churches as “safe havens” where people can self-report issues to police without fear of retaliation.

“Instead of having to go down to the police station to do that where they might feel some intimidation or reticence, might we open that up so that we have a place in the community where they can go?” Downing said.

Downing says the setting could be used for individuals to communicate complaints they have about police officers, to report knowledge about criminal incidents, or simply for help filling out a police report online.

The website for Trinity Episcopal Church describes it as

a city parish, and our location defines our opportunities as well as our call to engage and serve the world around us.

Read and listen to the Delaware Public Media story here. What do you think of the Delaware idea? Are there other ways which your church has developed to bridge a divide between communities and agencies such as the police?

Featured image: via Trinity Episcopal Church, Wilmington, DE, on Facebook


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JoS. S. Laughon

This is a good step to restoring the Church policy of sanctuary and her role in arbitrating disputes in society again.

Philip B. Spivey

This is a brilliant idea! Any parish willing to open its doors–The Episcopal Church Welcomes You—to the oppressed, marginalized and powerless in their community deserves every good blessing.

This ministry affords not only shelter, but a Christian voice and advocate in communities ravaged by social injustice. It takes Christian Witness to a whole new level. Bravi!

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