The Laramie Police Department is one of just six law enforcement agencies from across the country selected to participate in a pilot program to help improve investigations of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Enhancing Community Trust: Proactive Approaches to Domestic & Sexual Violence is a project of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Futures Without Violence. It will work with the Laramie PD to reflect on its current practices and identify areas of improvement based on community feedback. With that information, the department undergoes training needed to make improvements.
Tom Tremblay is one of three national experts on site this week to start the process of gathering community feedback. The former police chief said it's an unprecedented opportunity for Laramie.
"To really take a close look and then later on share lessons learned from this work with other police departments around the country," said Tremblay.
On Monday evening close to 30 people gathered to share their thoughts. Many of those in attendance were advocates, law enforcement or prosecutors who work with survivors of violence.
Tremblay and the two other experts facilitating the conversation asked the group to think about who wasn't there, whose voice was missing, and where to focus outreach efforts as the project moves forward.
"It's important that communities really do an assessment of equity and inclusion. Are we being inclusive in our community and making sure that part of the community is not being missed in this important conversation?" said Tremblay.
Many groups were identified as needing more focused outreach, including the LGBTQ community, the disability community, and the K-12 schools.
Laramie Police Chief Dale Stalder said it's important to bring more community members to the table and get feedback from diverse perspectives. "My hope is that through this process we get more tools to build community trust," said Stalder.
The three consultants are also working with the Laramie PD to develop a community assessment.