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Forging Safe Police Relationships

Tracie Keesee's Talk on Public Safety Explores Police Relations

— September 27, 2018 — Keynote Trends
In a recent TED Salon event -- presented in partnership with Brightline Initiative -- law enforcement professional Dr. Tracie Keesee gave a talk on public safety challenges. This concept may sound fairly broad but Keesee frames the talk with her 25 years of experience as an African American police officer.

Keesee begins her talk by showcasing two photographs of African Americans marching in the street for justice. This becomes the basis of her talk as she uses it to underpin the tension between the African American community and the police. She uses this basis to acknowledge the mistrust felt by both parties while also examining how the safety of both groups is deeply intertwined.

This mistrust becomes the main issue Keesee addresses in her talk and eventually leads her to introduce the 'Build the Block' initiative that launched in NYC. Leveraging technology, community organizers, and the NYPD, this initiative aims to build a level of trust between the community and the police in a way that showcases how the police are actually working to aid the neighborhood.

Keesee ends the talk on public safety challenges by acknowledging the troubled history both communities share with one another. She insists that the police must understand their history while also asking communities to embrace their lived experiences but to be cautious of falling back into a place where "we cannot move forward."
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