Rev. Corwin Hammond of Williamsburg Envisions Black Churches, Communities, and Police Forces Working Together

Rev. Corwin Hammond, a man in the business of promoting peace, has a dream.

He envisions building stronger bridges between folks — not only in the African-American community and other diverse groups — but between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Strides toward this goal began last Friday. More than 200 people — faith-based leaders, local African-American community groups and area law enforcement — gathered at the Williamsburg Regional Library to sign The Historic Triangle Covenant.

The covenant aims to create a holistic approach to community policing, taking it from the streets and bringing the discussion into family living rooms and church suppers.

Hammond, pastor at Chickahominy Baptist Church in Toano, believes for this to work, it requires the effort from all parts of the community to “maintain a relationship of respect and dignity.”

But beyond the covenant’s “feel good” signing moment, Hammond said this is the launch of a multi-phase endeavor to develop a frank rapport with the police, community groups and residents.

“There is so much negativity and hatred. All of the senseless acts affected me, when you see how people are hurting,” Hammond said, referring to recent national coverage of police-involved shootings.

“Why wait until something happens? Let’s do something now, so we have a framework of a conservation. I know it’s the right thing to do.”

Among some next steps for Hammond, is a call for community captains to step up and organize local meetings and work with African-American community groups to build a support network for families. He also wants to keep a dialogue open with local law enforcement.

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SOURCE: Williamsburg Yorktown Daily – Lisa Vernon-Sparks

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