PREVIEW: UA Community and Police Forum

Camille Studebaker

After hosting the recent national tragedy reflection circle, students in the School of Social Works took their work a step further by organizing a task force to create other similar events. Tonight, The School of Social Works is hosting a police forum that features the University of Alabama Police Department, Tuscaloosa Police Department and Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department.

This police forum is a part of the task force’s continued work, according to an email sent out by the dean of social work, Vikki Vandiver.

Dustin Smith, a junior majoring in social work, said there is ongoing tension from recent police shootings, and this dialogue should open up conversation between those with different perspectives.

“I think it’s important that conversation goes on just to relieve some of that tension and answer questions that people may not be completely comfortable in certain situations,” he said. “So I think that maybe opening up that dialogue and having those conversations will kind of alleviate some of that stress.”

WHO: The event is open to the School of Social Work and the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

WHAT: Building Relationships: UA Community and Police Forum

WHEN: Thursday, April 6 from 3-5 p.m.

WHERE: Bryant-Jordan Hall

WHY: “The purpose of this forum is to address the following themes: Student-police interactions, relationships between police and the greater community, current events,” the dean’s email reads.

Teddy Badami, a junior majoring in criminal justice, said the public should be able to come to officers and feel comfortable around them. “I just think it’s important to have a strong relationship with the public [the police are] supposed to be protecting,” he said.