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The Building Trust Partnership Launches Handbook and Website

Friday, February 2, 2018TOPICS: Human Rights and Security

Panelists from the Build Trust Launch Event
begin quoteWe need to invest in the community, as they need to invest in law enforcement, and we all need to work together. – Roxana Kennedy, Chief of the Chula Vista Police Department

On January 31, 2018, the Kroc School hosted an event to launch two important new resources for religious leaders to strengthen relationships between police and communities – The Building Trust Partnership Handbook and website:

The evening provided an opportunity for more than 170 religious leaders, community members and police officers to connect and discuss ways to build bridges to create a safer, more unified San Diego. During opening remarks, Bishop Robert McElroy of the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese said of the project and the evening, “That’s what these steps are. It means bringing together good people and helping them all act in structured ways to remain good and to become better, and in doing so, really build trust in our communities.”

Informed by more than 80 interviews conducted during 2017, the Building Trust Partnership Handbook outlines 15 approaches religious leaders can take to build trust between police and communities and provides practical steps for getting started. The project also includes a companion website,, which provides relevant, community-specific information like contact details for community relations officers and location dates and times for community meetings.

The evening provided an opportunity to speak honestly about the challenges that exist. “A lot of times people from marginalized communities feel over-policed and under-protected…As an officer, when you go into a community, you need to understand that you’re going in there where relationships have already been strained,” noted Bishop Cornelius Bowser of the New Apostolic Church.

Despite the very real challenges that exist, the panelists were optimistic about the future. “This region as a whole is decades ahead of the country,” Executive Assistant Chief of the San Diego Police Department Todd Jarvis observed.

As the Building Trust Partnership enters Phase II, the project will develop and support a cohort of San Diego religious leaders committed to strengthening connections between law enforcement and communities. As Bowser declared, “When you build relationships, you build trust.”

The Building Trust Partnership is a collaboration between the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, and the San Diego Organizing Project. Learn more at their website,



Daniel Orth
(619) 260-4066

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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