Memphis Group Hopes To Improve Community And Police Relations

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(Memphis) Tension between Memphis police and the public is causing one to take action and demand change.

The Mid-South Peace and Justice center is organizing talks between police and different community groups around town to ease some hostility and misunderstanding between them.

It’s called the community police relations project.

The Memphis Police Department has been working with different community organizations for about a year with no topics off limit.

They are answering complaints of profiling and discrimination to abusive treatment.

“I learned to see the police officers as humans. Something that I didn`t do before based on my bad previous experiences with them,” said Giovana Lopez with the Latino Memphis Community.

That’s one of the goals for all the meetings going on.

Different groups across Memphis are telling police they don't like the way they're being treated.

MPD is working on a plan of action after hearing their complaints of profiling, and hostile police in their communities.

“There has to be an understanding of the perception the community has of the police department and of the perception police officers have about many members of the community,” said MPD Deputy Director Anthony Watkins.

A representative from the LGBTQ community says police don`t understand them and bring personal biases into their jobs.

“We`re going to urge our police department to treat anyone involved in a domestic violence relationship just as they would any other without making assuming,” said Ann Gullic.

Memphis` Peace and Justice Center is trying to build an open line of communication between Memphis Police and 40 community groups because they say their relationship falling apart which impacts how safe police can keep the streets.

“What are the barriers to that relationship improving and being better and what are the solutions. We believe to our core the people who suffer under a problem are the ones who have the best answers to it,” said Brad Watkins with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center.

Mid-South Peace and Justice will be holding one of these public forums with police tomorrow at Union Grove Baptist Church in Frayser from

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