JAMS ADR Insights
JAMS Foundation Awards Grant to New York Peace Institute
Published October 2, 2015
The JAMS Foundation is proud to announce it approved a $180,000 grant to the New York Peace Institute to work with the New York Police Department to expand a neighborhood-based police training program. The funding will enable the NY Peace Institute and the NYPD to work together to promote positive police-community relations through productive problem-solving. The proposal represents an unprecedented endorsement of mediation as a useful tool for police officers.
The two organizations will build a critical mass of Neighborhood Coordination Officers who can use mediation skills in engaging with community members. With this funding, nearly 300 NYPD officers will develop and use a range of new skills for peacefully de-escalating conflict and constructively engaging the public. While patrolling their assigned neighborhoods, the NCOs will spend nearly all of their time interacting with the public and building relations and trust with the communities they serve. The NCOs will use conflict resolution skills to address a wide range of public safety problems.
“We believe the partnership between the New York Peace Institute and NYPD can produce significant and lasting change, and provide a model for cities and communities across the country,” said David Brandon, managing director of the JAMS Foundation. “The Foundation is pleased to support NYPI’s work in raising awareness about the use of conflict resolution methods to address tensions between the police and the communities they serve.”
“It is more important than ever to build trust between our neighborhoods and police,” said Brad Heckman, CEO of the New York Peace Institute. “We are excited about the opportunity to embed mediation in the NYPD on a significant scale.”
“In order to work more effectively with communities, our NCOs need to listen well, and engage in collaborative problem-solving,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “This training will help them do that.”
The New York Peace Institute is one of the nation’s largest community mediation programs, giving more than 10,000 people the resources they need to manage conflict, heal relationships and build community cohesion each year. The organization began in 1981 as a program of Safe Horizon, a leading victims’ services organization, and became an independent organization in 2011. As New York’s largest civilian peaceforce, its mission is to build peace and prevent violence in the city and beyond.
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