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Published on January 11th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Rally to Strengthen Relationships Between Law Enforcement and Communities

Pictured above from left; Butch Kennedy, Director of Project Unity Charleston, Mike Hartell, General Manager of Alpha Media, Bruce Trezevant, Founder Project Unity USA, Seth W. Stoughton, Assistant Professor of Law University of South Carolina and JT McLawhorn, President, Columbia Urban League.

Project Unity and the Columbia Urban League organized a rally to unite communities and law enforcement on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at Finlay Park in downtown Columbia.  Bruce Trezevant from Project Unity, a former Los Angeles police officer and the primary organizer of this event, said “although we have not experienced community upheaval between law enforcement and our community, it is important to be proactive and find ways to enhance relationships between these entities. As a former police officer, I realize how important it is to build stronger relationships between law enforcement and our communities.  We need each other, and now is the time for us to come together as one.”

J. T. McLawhorn, Jr., President and CEO of the Columbia Urban League stated, “This event was designed to promote greater dialog and common ground between these groups.” Mr. McLawhorn also commended the City of Columbia and other law enforcement entities for their leadership in community policing, which is a critical component in enhancing and maintaining relationships between the police and our community.

Mike Hartel, from Alpha Media, and a major supporter of this event said, “we’ve been troubled by the loss of life, the violence, and the direction that this discourse has taken in Ferguson, New York City, and other communities. This proactive rally promoteg peace in our neighborhoods and provide support for our men and women in law enforcement.”

Speakers for this event included Dr. Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and investigator who now teaches law at the University of South Carolina, Lt. Curtis Wilson from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, a representative from the Columbia Police Department and other community stakeholders.

Submitted by A. Michelle Daniels

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