DES MOINES, Iowa — The Guardian Project, a local nonprofit, is working to bridge the divide between law enforcement and minority communities in Des Moines.
“They are a very diverse group of people who represents just about every population in our community. So it’s good to get that perspective from them when they come to the table with different suggestions for programs, what we can do, what’s going to work and what’s going to strengthen that relationship we have,” Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said.
The Guardian Project was created in 2016 with the mission to build and increase safe, positive relationships between the Des Moines Police Department and the people it serves.
One of their biggest projects to date was providing funding for body cameras for officers in 2017.
Since then, they have collaborated with many other organizations such as Urban Dreams and the Evelyn K. Davis Center on community outreach events.
An original board member for the nonprofit says they have always seen power in working together.
“We have been working very hard, The Guardian Project, going into neighborhoods, working with neighborhoods, having functions at the Evelyn Davis Center for the kids. We are working to get people to be together,” Loretta Sieman said.