Police and At Risk Communities: Building Bridges in Unexpected Ways

Date: Saturday, December 9, 2017

Course #: W950

Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Erikson Institute

Cost: $150.00

Credit Available: CEUs; Social Work CEUs;


“To Protect and Serve”- Police in neighborhoods that struggle with community violence, lack of economic resources, and anti-police sentiment often have a tenuous relationship with citizens often feeling as if there is no longer a service component to policing. This workshop will explore a brief history of policing in the United States, systems of oppression, and training gaps that impact police effectiveness. From the perspective of a community social worker and juvenile police detective working with at risk youth and families, we will explore some of the innovative programs and police shifts that have the potential to build trust and safety. These programs include philosophies of community policing, exploring innovative police outreach programs, and highlighting youth engagement programs that strive to build bridges in the communities they serve in unexpected ways.


Melinda Gronen, M.A., LCSW

Melinda Gronen, LCSW, holds a degree in social service administration. She has worked with families for 16 years. She spent 10 years as a clinical coordinator on the Protective Services Team at Lurie Children’s Hospital and was a leader in trauma training and program development. Melinda is currently a clinician and trainer at Barr Harris Children’s Grief Center, a social work adjunct lecturer in the areas of trauma informed practice and abusive family systems at Erikson Institute, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago. Additionally, Melinda is a law enforcement instructor and the owner of Caped Crusader Consulting.

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