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. 13