WAITE PARK -- With police officers under a larger microscope over the past year, a national organization is hoping to build safer and more inclusive communities.

Faith & Blue is an Atlanta-based organization aimed at bringing faith leaders, activists and law enforcement together to start the conversation on how to put the pieces back together and grow the trust among officers.

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Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud was a guest speaker for Faith & Blue's roundtable discussion Monday afternoon. Bentrud says their ability to do a job is based on community trust and local faith organizations are vital to building that confidence.

It has to be more than law enforcement. We need to model the multi-jurisdictional collaboration and we are seeing it work in so many different areas. We need that collaboration if we are going to be successful together.

Bentrud says if we are going to fix the issues at hand, the conversation can't be one dimensional.

He says while they have made some strides over the last year, more work is still needed.

We can't be above looking the mirror and assessing where we can do better and where do we need to change. It needs to be a two way street and I think we are doing that.

Bentrud says law enforcement officers must also be effective listeners in order to build better policies around policing. He adds faith-based organizations are key pillars when it comes to having productive and informed conversations.

The National Faith & Blue weekend event will be held October 8th-11th.



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