Snellville Police Department Teams With Local Church in Community Engagement Effort

SNELLVILLE – The city’s police department and leaders at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church are partnering in an effort to better relations between police and the community in the Metro Atlanta area.

The effort, called One Congregation One Precinct (1C1P), is an initiative of MovementForward, Inc., and works to meet objectives outlined by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. It is designed to “prevent, combat and solve crimes” by combining the resources of local police departments and faith-based organizations. It also works to “proactively create a direct link between law enforcement executives and community leaders in an effort to avert violent and divisive public responses to police-involved incidents while also giving voice to growing public concerns relative to policing,” according to 1C1P documents.

“It’s a great opportunity to expand the partnership we enjoy with our community,” Snellville Police Department Chief Roy Whitehead said.

“This innovative effort is purposed to stem mounting tensions between citizens and law enforcement officers by building partnerships and mutual understandings, as well as establishing a structured framework for the public to assist law enforcement efforts,” 1C1P documents read.

The program has drawn praise from church leaders.

The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Hendrick, rector of St. Matthew’s said, “St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church is honored to be one of the first 15 sites selected for the 1C1P program in the metro Atlanta area, whose goal is to ‘build partnerships between cops and communities.’ It is our hope and prayer that the collaborative partnership between the officers of Snellville Police Department and members of St. Matthew’s will result in experiences we can share with the 1C1P coordinators, so that this program can expand beyond the initial 15 sites to every police department and faith congregation who wishes to participate.”

Gregory Andrews, who is coordinating the effort at St. Matthew’s said he hopes his church can provide a blueprint for other churches in the city – and world – to follow.

“There’s nothing volatile in Snellville,” he said. “But you must step out and do what you can to prevent bad things from happening.”

For more information on the project visit 1C1P.org.