For a while now there has been a big effort to improve the relationships between the Buffalo Police and people in the community. Shea's Performing Arts Center and the Buffalo Police Department have been teaming up to provide new police cadets with training on body language for the last three years.

Credit: WIVB

The program is in the spotlight, as an honoree of the 2021 Spark Award, the program was developed between Shea's and the Buffalo Police Department. Thembi Duncan is the director of arts engagement at Shea's Performing Arts Center, and she approached the Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood with ideas on how to improve communications between the police and the public.

Ultimately, we want to do this with a ton of law enforcement agencies, and we want to inspire artist and law enforcement agencies to work together to contribute to solutions, It's about being action-oriented- we can all have opinions on how things go, but who's taking action? We're taking action.

said, Thembi Duncan

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The workshops have been part of the Buffalo Police curriculum for new cadets since May 2019, the program is offered by Shea's and thought by Duncan at no expense to the department or the city taxpayer. I have learned that a person's body language can set the tone of an entire conversation. In my opinion, this will be a great step in the right direction toward giving people in the community the confidence to actually speak to an officer without feeling threatened, or afraid.

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