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Pastors Help Reduce Tension Between Officers & Minorities

A group of local pastors has a way to help reduce racial tension between minorities and the police. This morning at the Moline Police Department, members of the clergy, police chiefs, sheriffs, mayors, and school superintendents signed a three-year covenant. They all promised to increase respect for others, check their own assumptions, and keep everyone safe.

Two years ago, Reverend P. Wonder Harris, from East Moline's Mount Zion Baptist Church, taught East Moline police officers about his solution to help deal with racial bias. Adults receive yellow and black wristbands to wear, and stickers to place on their cars. The wristbands and stickers show police officers the person or driver has received training about how to respond to police, and what to do when getting pulled over. The person has also pledged to cooperate and respect the officer.

East Moline Police Chief John Reynolds says it's been working very well & his officers like it. Over the last couple of years, most of the Illinois Quad Cities police and sheriff's departments have received training from the three pastors.

Police can now wear blue and white wristbands after being trained. That's a new part of the program. Teachers and principals wear gray and white ones. And children from six- to seventeen-years-old wear green ones. Rev. Harris, Dr. Grimes, and Reverend Darryl Thompson from Rock Island's House of Fire Ministries, hope it catches on in the Iowa Quad Cities, and all over the country. Stickers, wristbands, and more information are available at the pastors' churches and online.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor. She does everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever may be needed around the radio station.
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