Arlington, TX: A Community Policing Story Arlington, TX - A Community Policing Story - Page 25

Community Screenings and Discussion Questions Community groups and law enforcement agencies can host public screenings of the film Arlington, TX: A Community Policing Story for a variety of audiences—such as government agencies, community organizations, and other relevant stakeholders—to initiate conversations on trust building, procedural justice, and institutional legitimacy, as well as the essential role each of these concepts play in building collaborative partnerships to improve public safety. For any audience, consider organizing participants into small breakout groups for part of the discussion. Especially with large audiences, difficult or open-ended questions might make some people feel uncomfortable or shy about speaking out; these individuals might share more openly in a smaller group. One person from each group can be responsible for reporting to the larger audience about the experiences, perceived challenges, proposed strategies, or other issues raised in the breakout session. In a theater setting where breakout sessions are logistically difficult, ask a discussion question and then encourage attendees to hold a five-minute conversation with the person in the next seat. Consider concluding the segment by asking three or four pairs to share their findings with the larger audience. Taking about 10–15 minutes on this exercise may serve as a useful warm up for those who are reluctant to speak in groups. In public discussions, questions should focus on the experience of the community members as much as possible, and they should have adequate time to speak about their experiences. Honest criticism can be a very important and constructive part of the discussion; however, verbal attacks should be discouraged. An experienced facilitator, particularly someone who has credibility with the community at large, can be a great benefit, especially with larger groups or in groups where tensions are known. Keep in mind that the goal is participatory conversation, and the opportunity for people to engage can be as important as anything in particular that might be said. Discussion questions should initially focus on the basic concepts presented in the film and conclude with questions about possible next steps the audience can take: Overview of basic concepts ◾ ◾ What crises did the police department face, particularly with respect to its public relationships? How did the department ultimately address the challenges associated with these crises? ◾ ◾ What challenges did the community face in the film, particularly with respect to public safety issues? How did the community ultimately address these crises? 17