WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio
An Ohio trio are bridging the gap between Black communities and police with their program, the New Jack City Approach.
Ohio’s WFMJ reported that Vince Peterson, Jake Jones and Pastor Darryl Rodgers created the the New Jack City Approach to policing 14 years ago.
Warren County, Ohio resident Peterson is with Adult Parole and Probation, the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force, and he’s a hostage negotiator for the Crisis Response Team.
They were inspired by the 1990s Mario Van Peebles film of the same name to change their community for the better.
The three men based their program on the film’s premise, in which the police department recruits a new type of officer with a new way of thinking.
Peterson tells reporters that this approach will create better conditions for Black people and cops:
“We have Black Lives Matter, we have Blue Lives Matter. But in all honesty if we don’t learn to come together and work together we’re all going to be black and blue before it’s all over with,” Peterson said. “The New Jack Approach is to get officers to understand that African-American males come with different value systems in some cases, different beliefs and different ways of expressing themselves, and once we understand that then to have the ability to converse whether it’s in a hostile situation.”
Warren County veteran police officer Lieutenant Dan Mason believes the program is effective and a great tool used for building rapport between cops and citizens:
“… I believe that anytime you appreciate somebody’s background and their culture and you give them a chance to express themselves without reacting to that — or without trying to take a harsh control over that person I think it alleviates a lot of anxiety between the public and the police officer,” Lieutenant Mason said.