Norristown's Weed & Seed Steering Committee is hoping to address violence in the Norristown community with a "Cops and Youth Forum" this Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gotwals Elementary School at 1 East Oak Street.
According to Norristown Councilman Marlon Milner, the forum is designed to be a place "where teens and cops will sit down and have frank discussions with one another."
Teens ages 12 to 18 are invited to attend and share real feelings about law enforcement officers and for police to listen and respond to what teens have to say. Organizers of the event say they "want to tear down walls of mistrust, and forge better understanding of the positive roles of police in our community."
“Respect is always an issue that comes up," Jim Randolph, a member of the Juvenile Justice Prevention Subcommittee on Disproportionate Minority Contact told The Times Herald. "Youth feel they are being disrespected by the police and the police feel that they are being disrespected by the youth."
Organizers are hoping to attract more than 200 young people to the event, which will feature a short panel discussion with panelists and moderators from state and local law enforcement, members of the NAACP, Norristown residents and clergy members and Norristown youth. The panel discussion will be followed by break out sessions to cover specific issues and discussion topics.