NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Police Department is one of six law enforcement agencies in the nation to endorse a grassroots effort that began on a local college campus and has evolved into an international “pay it forward” movement.
AC4P stands for “Actively Caring for People” and refers to any random act of kindness or behavior that goes above and beyond in support of another.
The movement first developed in the aftermath of the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy, when student leaders and a VT professor initiated a culture shift on the campus—the Actively Caring for People Movement. Two thousand green actively-caring wristbands were distributed across the Virginia Tech campus to individuals performing acts of caring with the instructions to pay it forward. By passing on the wristband when a person observed someone else performing an act of kindness, it reinforced positive behavior, building the Virginia Tech community from its damaged aftermath.
Now, Norfolk Police Department’s adoption of the AC4P Policing program hopes to make the inclusive spirit of the Norfolk community even stronger.
“By training officers on how to deliver positive consequences, we can help cultivate interpersonal trust and caring behavior in our Norfolk communities. The simplicity of this program makes an easy but lasting contribution to our city, not only for my officers, but also for the citizens they serve,” adds Chief of Police Michael Goldsmith.
When a Norfolk Police Officer observes a person actively caring for someone in the community, the officer will provide the person with a unique, serialized green AC4P wristband. The person is not only thanked by the officer, but immediately recognized for his or her act of caring within the community. The officer will also document the reason the person was recognized and the act of caring will be shared through various social media outlets. Each shared story can be traced back to the wristbands’ unique numbers, and the progress of cultivating positive relations continues to grow with each new addition.
For more information on the AC4P movement, visit the official website at www.ac4p.org or www.norfolk.gov/police.