GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The City of Greensboro is working to address cultural barriers between police and people in the community.
“It’s been no secret the last couple of years, the strain with our police department and our community,” said Nathaniel Davis, the assistant city manager for public safety.
Davis recently started his job at the city after more than 20 years on the force.
“I think what we have to do is begin to be more proactive and not reactive,” Davis said. “We can’t wait for the next incident to happen.”
Starting next month, recruits in the police academy will visit the International Civil Rights Center and Museum as part of their training curriculum.
“How can they best serve our community unless they understand the community, not just happening now but the history of what people see when they see police officers,” Davis said.
The future officers will tour the museum and listen to a lecture revolving around the constitution and oath of office.
“We are going to go the extra mile with our police officers,” said John Swaine, CEO of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. “I think the thing that they are going to take away most is the history of this area and why we find ourselves where we are today about race relations and community issues.”
Swaine says he plans to invite other police departments to visit too. He says Winston-Salem recruits recently did a tour and attended a lecture.