Actor Morgan Freeman and University of Mississippi Professor Linda Keena have donated $1 million to the school for a new center on policing, CNN reported.
The Center for Evidence-Based Policing and Reform – pending approval by Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Education – will “build relationships and share data with policing agencies as well as use the data to enhance the preparation of students in criminal justice,” according to a release from the school.
Freeman said the events of 2020 inspired him to make a donation.
“It’s time we are equipping police officers with training and ensuring ‘law enforcement’ is not defined only as a gun and a stick,” Freeman said. “Policing should be about that phrase ‘To Serve’ found on most law enforcement vehicles.”
The center is meant to provide training for law enforcement officers on how best to engage with communities.
“The goal should be to give officers as many tools as possible to do their jobs more effectively,” said Keena, an associate professor of criminal justice. “Our faculty will address critical issues inherently interwoven in the current and historic landscape of policing such as race, class, bias and lack of compassion.”