“A New Approach in Building Stronger Partnerships in Communities”
On Saturday, February 21st, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) along with the US Attorney’s Office and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) held a Community Resilience Exercise (CREX) designed to strengthen relationships between the state’s Muslim communities and law enforcement.
Held at California State University Sacramento, this exercise was more of a community outreach workshop improving community relations, communication and increasing trust between law enforcement and communities. Participants shared ideas on how best to build community resilience against violent extremism.
“This is a grassroots approach of building strong and positive relationships in all types of communities in our state”, said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Partnering in this exercise today with the Muslim community, builds a firm foundation for better communication and trust amongst our local law enforcement and first responders.”
The CREX is based on a program that has been conducted over 50 times in the United Kingdom and has been extremely successful. Participants work face to face on scenarios to address how to facilitate peaceful conclusions when law enforcement and the Muslim communities intersect.
“Protecting our children from the recruiting efforts of violent extremists, and our communities from dangerous incidents, requires law enforcement to work hand-in-hand with people of all faiths,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “Our exercise this weekend is just one example of how various Muslim communities throughout our district are committed to helping address this problem. I am honored to work with them in carrying out this very important work.”
Over the past year, CREX has been conducted in several U.S. cities and responses from participants have been very positive and have reached tangible results. Partnerships and collaborations are critical. This plan will enhance information sharing, facilitates a greater understanding of potential threats, strengthens law enforcement cooperation and expertise, and assists communities in building resilience from violent extremism.
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