Charleston city, police officials announce new community initiative

Charleston city, police officials announce new community initiative

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston officials announced on Tuesday a new initiative to enhance relationships between law enforcement and citizens.

"The Illumination Project" is a new community collaboration which hopes to address and enhance relationships between police officers and citizens that "will continually build trust, legitimacy, and dispel negative perceptions," according to a statement from the Charleston Police Fund.

"It will explore the natural tensions which exist between the important social values of public safety and civil liberties as well as develop actionable strategies rooted in procedural justice principals," officials said.

The project is made in cooperation with the City of Charleston, the Charleston Police Department and private donations.

"Charleston's gift of grace, forgiveness and unity to the world during the response and recovery of the Mother Emanuel incident places a moral responsibility to seize this opportunity and energy to create solutions that can be modeled and replicated around the nation," Mayor Joe Riley said.

"Procedural justice is based on four central principles: treating people with dignity and respect, giving citizen's voice during contacts, being neutral in decision making, and conveying trustworthy motives," Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said."A growing body of research shows that following these simple, yet powerful principles can have a substantial impact on the relationships that exist between police officers and the community and influence public safety and crime rates."

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