PNW Communities: Working on Trust
On Tuesday 10 January 2017, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) in Redmond, Washington, hosted a well-attended discussion with local police chiefs. The discussion included several topics, including personal safety, hate crimes, and immigration policies. However, a common theme throughout was the importance of building trust and relationships within the community.
The police chiefs and other officers pursued those objectives by reassuring the audience that local law enforcement was a resource for all community members, and that if people encountered a problem, they should be comfortable contacting the police. Several of the police chiefs stressed the importance of treating people with fairness, dignity, and respect. During each presentation, the police chiefs displayed their names and relevant contact information on a large screen.
MAPS and the community members mingled with the police officers over food, coffee, and tea. At about the half-way mark the organizers called for a fifteen minute break for prayer. One of the organizers encouraged the Muslim members of the audience to find a non-Muslim and show them around the mosque or explain the prayer schedule.
The Muslim Community and Neighborhood Association helped organize the discussion. According to the MAPS web page, chiefs and officers from Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Redmond, and Sammamish participated.