The Chatham County Police Department and Phi Beta Sigma Incorporated’s Tau Beta Sigma Chapter signed a memorandum of understanding on Feb. 9, with the goal of strengthening relationships between law enforcement and the African-American community, according to a CCPD spokesperson. Several CCPD officers are Phi Beta Sigma members, and they approached CCPD Chief Jeff Hadley about the idea of forming the partnership. Under the agreement, the fraternity chapter and police department will work together on various programs and initiatives designed to build trust and provide a stronger and safer community with initiatives including community forums, “Shop with a Cop” opportunities, and law-enforcement appreciation events. “This partnership goes hand-in-hand with our community policing philosophy,” Hadley said. “To work with a fraternity that has a number of our officers as members is a privilege, and we look forward to the insight and ideas they will share as we move forward with this collaboration.” Phi Beta Sigma member Deion Williams says the organization will continue to build upon its motto, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity,” by continuing initiatives like this. “This initiative is something that has never been done before, and it’s something that both parties are looking to build upon,” said Williams. “This initiative is a way for us to have those conversations with our police departments and the community. So, we will be able to understand each other a little better and work hand-in-hand to rebuild our community for the better.” Phi Beta Sigma was founded in 1914 by three African-American men at Howard University, and now boasts thousands of members around the United States, including roughly 70 members in the Chatham County area.