Decades of research affirm that people are more likely to obey the law when they believe those enforcing it have authority that is perceived as legitimate by those subject to the authority. The public confers legitimacy; it is not assumed. As we have all seen, the national narrative has dramatically changed in the past weeks regarding police and communities throughout our country. Change is needed; change is welcomed. On June 4, 2020, during the planned demonstration at the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial, Chief Standridge announced the Threshold initiative to citizens. Threshold can be defined as the place or point of entering or beginning. It is us opening a door to community that should always be open. By giving a voice to a diverse group within our community, the Police Department can better ensure safety and wellness for all citizens in our community.
The group, made up of a diverse cross-section of community members, will meet on a weekly basis to discuss professional policing, national events, and unity. The first meeting occurred on June 18th, where it was hosted by New Hope Church and Pastor Chuck Farina.
When asked what their goals were for Threshold, some members responded:
“More communication with Police.”
“Find common ground…understand where community is coming from, and for community to better understand law enforcement.”
“Feel comfortable enough to have another child.” This was a sobering comment that deserves our full attention.
“Unity. I want God to look down at our city and say, I command a blessing on that city.”
“Change that FEAR word.”
“Understanding. Bring discussions to the middle, and find the things that we can agree on.”
“Change, and be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Chuck Farina – Pastor Liz Robledo - APD
Michael T. Royals – Community Leader (not pictured) Rick Tomlin - APD
Susanna Lubanga – Intl. Rescue Comte. Will Ford - APD
David Dalbert Jr. – Master Electrician Mike Perry - APD
Jacqueline Jones – Abilene Recovery Council Doug Wrenn - APD
Garrett Betts – First Financial Stan Standridge - APD
Tamara Hunter – Food Vendor Trainer Regi McCabe-Gossett – Business Mgr.