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'Racial profiling, distrust:' Community weighs in on changes needed for Glynn County police department

The concerns will be used to create recommendations to improve community-police relations in Glynn County.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The Glynn County community is getting an opportunity to work alongside law enforcement to improve community police relations.

Two ‘implicit bias’ workshops were held Saturday, part of the department’s goal of creating ‘Bridges to Engagement.' 

Church leaders, school employees, directors of homeless shelters, NAACP leaders and everyday citizens came together with one goal.

“To improve not just community relations but accountability for the department. Transformation that results in long-lasting profit for the community," Elijah Bobby Henderson, Co-founder of ‘A Better Glynn, said.

Facilitated by the Public Safety Analytical Intelligence Consulting, national experts on improving community-police relations, the implicit bias training is part of the Glynn County Police department’s overall mission to change community perceptions and focus on community policing concepts.

“We have to become invested in the same communities that we patrol," Chief Jacques Battiste of the Glynn County Police, said. "The training today has gone across the nation and has had huge success in several other cities, including today, it’s going to help improve things tremendously here in Glynn county." 

Training focused on: "Identification of focus areas and recommendations deemed most important to your law enforcement and community stakeholders. Development of joint strategic goals and action plans for future police-community partnership efforts."

The groups on Saturday identified their biggest concerns with law enforcement including; lack of transparency, racial profiling, and community-police distrust.

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But those who attended say it has to go further than just talking.

“What we’ve always wanted for Glynn County Police department is accountability and transparency... There’s already a framework in place, it’s a matter of putting legs to it and getting it moved forward.”," Henderson said.

It was the third of four training days. The first two sessions were held solely for law enforcement personnel, and the last will be a round table with both law enforcement and community members.

At that last session, the goal is to use concerns brought up at the community sessions to create recommendations that can be directly implemented in Glynn County.

The community roundtable will be held Saturday February12 at 8AM. That session will be held at the Stembler Theater on the campus of College of Coastal Georgia.

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