MARSHALL, TX (KLTV) - Recent months have brought shocking incidents involving alleged Police brutality and abuse of authority into the national spotlight.
The air of tension between Police and citizens, and how to address it, is now the focus of a new initiative on the part of one East Texas police department.
The Marshall Police Department has a new initiative called No Colors, No Labels.
"The temperature around the community between law enforcement and the community is a little hot. We're seeing a lot of issues because of racism. labels colors. Looks like we're taking steps backwards instead of forwards. Of those few bad apples that are wearing the badge and tarnishing it, we're not all the same, we're public servants. Our power is given to us by the citizens," Campa says.
Campa decided his department would be proactive, with a racism eradication initiative called 'no colors, no labels'.
The departments Facebook page is filled with messages of understanding, and recognizing bigotry and labeling.
"To try to cultivate a better relationship with our community, It's an opportunity to rebuild and start all over between the police and the community," the chief said.
The project includes a civilian board.
"I think it's an excellent opportunity for our community to grow together, and for people's understanding for race relations.There's a perception of racism. It exists. What this is going to do is highlight that there's not this huge rift in our community anymore. We have a Marshall Police Department that is very diverse, a department that strives to ensure that they're not violating anyone's rights based on any label. Change people's understanding so we can heal our community from past hurt," says initiative board member Ladarius Carter.
The project is geared towards a healthy dialogue of understanding.
"We're all different, but we're all the same. We're all human beings," says Campa.
"When you know that police aren't the enemy, when you know that police are there and you can trust them, then you begin to live that out in your daily life," says Carter.
The first public meeting for the initiative is scheduled for July 16 from 6-7 p.m., at the Marshall Police Department.