PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw met with religious community leaders and the city’s youth on Sunday to discuss the ongoing gun violence crisis.
“This is a great opportunity for something positive. A time to have fellowship and see the people behind the badge today,” said Commissioner Outlaw. “It’s an opportunity to allow them to control the narrative, let us know how they want to be seen, and also say, ‘We need some help in those areas.'”
The intimate group addressed a range of issues and issues including safety, trust in the police and discrimination.
The youths shared their feelings and points of view with the silent and listening officers and leaders.
“Because of things that are happening at home, I can speak a little bit more. A lot of kids don’t have a voice and people don’t know it,” said Kasheef Nash of West Philadelphia.
A teenager shared his concern about only having negative interactions with the police because he only sees them in his community when things are bad.
Commissioner Outlaw says she referenced those experiences and shares that her positive interactions with officers didn’t begin until high school.
“When we first walked in they didn’t want to smile, had their hoodies up. The hoodies are still on, but the masks are starting to come off. You start to open up more. It just doesn’t happen, it happens over time. We have to keep at it,” Outlaw said.
The community discussion took place during National Faith & Blue Weekend, which aims to enable safer and stronger communities by engaging law enforcement officials and local residents through the connections of religious organizations.
Reverend Markel Hutchins is the founder of the event. He says the goal is to enable safer and stronger communities by engaging law enforcement officials and local residents.
No subject was taboo.
“The tensions we continue to see across the country that have been growing over the past few years are not being reversed. We can’t solve problems if we don’t talk to each other,” said Reverand Hutchins.
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https://6abc.com/philadelphia-police-commissioner-danielle-outlaw-gun-violence-national-faith–blue-weekend/12309447/ National Faith & Blue Weekend: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Outlaw working to build trust through talks with teens