ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Equitable Policing Coalition is tackling the topic of building trust between the police and the African American community in the Star City.

The organization held a discussion at the Melrose Public Library on Saturday, April 30, with other Roanoke City leaders among the attendees.

The topic of conversation centered around addressing the disparities in traffic stops, racial profiling, and other areas that help build trust within the communities they serve. The group says it’s an issue that needs to be addressed now.

“Dr. King talked about the fierce urgency of now,” said Rev. David Jones of the Equitable Policing Coalition.

“I believe that we have leadership now in Roanoke City Police that is far more amenable to doing these kinds of efforts, especially in the areas of training and being sensitive to the needs of the community,” Jones added.

The Equitable Policing Coalition’s mission is to make sure Roanoke is a community where all racial groups feel equal and fully protected by law enforcement.