BENSALEM >> In a unique partnership, local civic and religious groups have teamed up with law enforcement officials and an award-winning filmmaker to spark discussion in Bucks County about building stronger relationships between police and the communities they serve.
Part of the 7th Annual MLK Teen Peace and Justice Summit, this year’s summit Planning Committee has joined with the Police Chiefs’ Association of Bucks County, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bensalem Police Department to bring the film "WALKING WHILE BLACK: L.O.V.E. is the Answer” to Bucks County for the first time. The film by director A.J. Ali shines a light on the importance of reconciliation and healing between police and other members of the community.
The summit, a yearly event held on the weekend honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is set to begin at 4 p.m. on Jan. 19 with a showing of the film in the auditorium of Bensalem High School, 4319 Hulmeville Rd, Bensalem 19020. Group discussions will follow, during which participants will be invited to share perspectives and their ideas for building a better understanding between law enforcement and the community.
The program is intended to reach high school-age students as well as mature 7th and 8th graders, and is also open to the public. The event includes a pizza dinner for all students. Those who plan to attend are asked to register at www.thepeacecenter.org.
“Bucks County’s police officers are collectively the fairest and best in the business. But we in law enforcement must always be sensitive to public perceptions of our officers, especially negative ones,” said District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “By partnering with our county’s police chiefs to locally premier this film to students and police officers together at the MLK Teen Summit, we are proactively demonstrating our desire to talk about these critical police perception issues with the public they serve. By viewing this film together, our community-police relations will only grow stronger than they already are.”