Submitted by the City of Evanston
On October 17, seven members of the Evanston Police Department had the prestigious honor of traveling to London, UK to study police reform as New Blue Fellows. Deputy Chief Melissa Sacluti, Sergeant Tosha Wilson, Sergeant Francesca Henderson, Officer Enjoli Daley, Detective Nina Griffith, Officer Jacqueline Herrera and Detective Amanda Wright have each been selected in the fall of 2021 to participate in the New Blue Leadership Fellowship Program.
New Blue is a non-profit organization established in 2020 that focuses on police reform from within. The EPD Fellows were part of the first cohort of the program to specifically focus on female police officers in relation to the 30×30 Initiative, which aims to advance women in policing to 30% by the year 2030. There are currently 12 women. % of police officers and 3% of police headquarters nationally.
The New Blue Fellowship is a year-long commitment where fellows discuss a variety of challenges and barriers within law enforcement, while working to identify solutions to facilitate reform from within in an effort to improve community relations. Fellows have spent the past few months working with law enforcement professionals and social impact experts across the country, sharing information and ideas to improve police practices and policies in their respective communities. Cohort members represented numerous communities including the following departments: Los Angeles Police Department, Charleston (SC) Police Department, Madison (WI) Police Department, Arizona State University Police Department, from the University of Texas and the Evanston Police Department.
The program offered fellows the opportunity to travel abroad and gain global insight from UK officers and the UK-based organization POLICE NOW. Fellows participated in discussions and observations on key topics such as:
- Community importance
- Social Impact
- Emotional intelligence
- Impact metrics
- Transformation and modernization of the police
- The global impact of the murder of George Floyd
- Misogyny and racism within the police and the world
- Impact of individual behavior on the global profession
Through generous donations from various organizations across the country, this experience was funded by New Blue, whose main goals are “networks, funding and skills to develop long-term solutions in policing”.
Detective Griffith shared, “New Blue has provided me with skills that I can use to build better relationships within the Evanston community. I have also gained a strong network of strong, like-minded, reform-driven officers across the United States. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be part of New Blue”.
“My experience in London opened my eyes to the work we do here in the United States. It became clear that we are not working in silos and that the world’s social ills are universal, but culture plays a role. We work at a time when people seek validation, respect and love globally and we have to be innovative in our approaches to safety in our communities,” says Sergeant Wilson.
Officer Herrera says: “I’m grateful to New Blue for providing me with a platform to reimagine policing from within. London Police is going through many of the same challenges we face here. Change is needed and I’m proud to be among a group of women who are serious about change for the better. It’s truly inspiring.”
Fellows will now return to finish out the year and work on a solution-based capstone project specific to the Evanston community.
The Evanston Police Department has been a leader in progressive and community-based policing practices for decades. “EPD is very proud of our New Blue Fellows, for their dedication and willingness to represent the department in an impactful way on a global platform and as they aim to positively reform policing from within. We are very grateful to New Blue for creating an avenue for them to our members to participate in such a tremendous opportunity,” shares Chief Schenita Stewart.
New Blue is recruiting officers nationwide for the 2023 cohort, which will also include male officers. The Evanston Police Department aims to have representation in the 2023 cohort and is very grateful to New Blue for creating an avenue for its members to participate.