Police/Community Relations Study Circles

In response to well-publicized concerns about the Schenectady Police Department, SCED has developed a study circle program to bring police officers and residents together to talk about ways to alleviate tensions between them. Sixty residents and eight Schenectady police officers participated in a pilot series over the winter.

"There was a powerful lesson in this for me," Rev. Russ Savage of the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady wrote about his experience. "We need to look one other in the eye, listen fully to one another, and make a real effort to understand one another. Then even though we might not agree on everything, we can appreciate one another and can get along. I wish the leaders of the world would remind themselves of this lesson."

Other participants reported that they appreciated the opportunity to talk with people from other parts of the community, to learn more about the police perspective and to hear from police and community members who have been involved in incidents that they only read about.