League of Women Voters hosting forum on community policing

The League of Women Voters of Dare County will host a virtual program on policing titled “Could It Happen Here? Shedding Light on Preventing Tragic Police Encounters in Our Community” on Monday, October 19 at 7 p.m. In keeping with social distancing guidelines, the program venue will be a Zoom meeting which the public is invited to join.

Four panelists representing law enforcement will discuss police training, protocols, and practices used to defuse volatile situations and prevent conflict. The panel includes a representative of the North Carolina Justice Academy, Carl Joyner, Instructor/Developer, who teaches many courses in prevention and de-escalation, such as “community policing before the crisis”, “crime prevention through environmental design”, and “employing verbal judo.”

Another panelist is Major Jeff Deringer, Law Enforcement Instructor and Training Coordinator with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office. Major Deringer has instructed a wide variety of courses on de-escalation techniques and communicating with persons in crisis or with special needs.

Also representing local law enforcement is Chief Phillip Webster who joined the Nags Head Police Department as Chief in 2019. Previously he served as Chief in the North Myrtle Beach Police Department where he implemented several training programs on community oriented policing and problem solving. As Chief in Nags Head he is utilizing “The 21st Century Policing Task Force Report” as a framework for moving forward in a community responsive way.

Rounding out the panel is Captain John Towler. He is a 25 year veteran of the Kill Devi Hills police department and has had over 1,700 hours of police related training. He also has peacekeeping experience as a Civilian Police Officer with the United Nations in Kosovo.

The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists via Zoom, and the public is invited to join LWV members and participate in the program by clicking on the following link which will take you to the October 19 Zoom meeting site:

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at [email protected]