Arlington, TX: A Community Policing Story Arlington, TX - A Community Policing Story - Page 21
Preparation for Facilitators
Event facilitators, who may be with a law enforcement agency or a community group, play an
important role in leading the audience through the process of viewing the film, understanding
the lessons, and taking action in their community. Whoever facilitates the screening or
moderates the discussion must be able to emphasize that the event or training provides a safe
space for all attendees to interact and share their thoughts. The following ideas can help event
facilitators prepare for organizing and leading the discussion:
Preview the film
The facilitator should watch the film in advance of the screening and discussion and allow time
to process his or her response to the film. What are the key messages? Why is this film relevant
to the audience and the issues they are facing?
Know the audience
Think about who will be in attendance, and develop ways to reach a broad range of community
members and different levels of law enforcement. The facilitator should also be aware of the
hate and bias issues that currently exist in the community, its history of division or tension, and
some of the positive work being done to address these issues.
Invite diverse community members
For community screenings, work with the event planners to invite diverse community
members, particularly those from groups who may be vulnerable to hate crimes or bias
incidents. Reach out to local faith-based organizations, civil and human rights groups, schools,
and other law enforcement agencies. It is important to ensure that every audience member
has equal time to participate. Also, understand that there may be tensions between different
community groups or between groups and law enforcement. Setting ground rules (see page 14)
could help alleviate potential issues that arise.
Review the goals and objectives
Discuss with the event organizers their goals for this screening and their objectives for
accomplishing those goals. The facilitator should be mindful of these objectives and ensure that
the goals are met. Being attentive to time management and staying on task with the agenda are
critical to facilitating a productive dialogue. However, flexibility is needed to allow for issues to
arise organically and for people to be able to express their ideas and share their stories.