Associate Magazine - FBINAA - Q3-2022



Many agencies will find that, at some point, they are at odds with sectors of the communities that they are sworn to serve and protect. Sometimes the friction can even be within an agency as it deals with disagreements or distrust between staff. Heads of law enforcement agencies might be looking for ways to bridge that divide and resolve sources of friction with an organization with a proven track record of assisting with community

engagement in a structured environment. A s it turns out, there is a national organization that has been doing this kind of work for many years that your agency might want to access. The National Coalition Building Institute ( started in 1984 with a primary goal of training activists and leaders all over the world in the coalition building skills necessary to end the divisions that separate people. Much of the early work focused within educational communities, schools and universities but has expanded into work with law enforcement. As mentioned on their website, “work with law enforcement agencies and their communities convinced NCBI of the need to develop a leadership training program that addresses the commu nication gap between law enforcement and local communities as well as communication issues within law enforcement itself.” The training program is an investment in the agency and surround ing community that can be tailored to fit the unique needs of the agency and community. The training is advertised as “providing an opportunity for law enforcement and community members to think outside the box and to share histories and experiences in a safe, respectful environment” and to “encourage everyone to play a part in leading the way towards constructive change.” This is done by: creating an environment of awareness of self and others, learning how to navigate diverse perspectives, learning how to manage conflict more effectively proactively and reactively by providing tools to assist diverse groups as they work together during highly emo tionally charged conflicts, and maximizing participants’ ability to effectively manage work, learn, work and build teams, develop people and build internal and external relationships.

This organization has a large roster of staff dedicated to specific affinity groups. The person who serves as co-director of the law enforcement program is a member of the FBI National Academy Associates: Fabienne Brooks , Session 180, retired chief of King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office. Brooks has served 26 years in law enforcement and brings special insight to the training and has been involved with community and law enforcement partnership/community engagement training for over 18 years. The other co-director is Guillermo Lopez . Mr. Lopez has been honing his skills as a leader and facilitator for almost 30 years. He has extensive experience working within communities and organizations to build trust, create collaboration opportuni ties and strengthen relationships across differences. Together they exemplify benefits of an authentic partnership between law enforcement and community. The NCBI Law Enforcement Division has been a valuable resource in the never-ending struggle to understand and balance the cultural differences we so often encounter in our communities and our police departments. The City of Easton Police Department has utilized NCBI to individually assess our department and create a specific training curriculum to meet the needs identified during that assessment. I have been privileged to witness first-hand the value of experienced and compassionate instructions, such as Guillermo Lopez and Fabi enne Brooks when dealing with cultural diversity and the challenges that can be created and must be dealt with when communications break down. In first observing this program presented to my depart ment approximately 10 years ago, I was amazed at how productive and important this kind of training program could be... Dealing with Here are some of the endorsements of agencies who have worked with NCBI in the past:

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