A Path to Improved Police-Community Relationships

The 54th Mile Policing Project is dedicated to fostering connections, understanding, and trust between police and community members. Inspired by a powerful 17-minute film, this national initiative aims to enhance police-community relations through education, outreach, and collaboration.

Photo credit: Reggie Allen

Three African American men walking along a road surrounded by lush greenery

Walking Towards Change: The Historic 54-Mile Civil Rights Walk

In the summer of 2020, three police leaders retraced the steps of the historic 54-mile civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. These men, Assistant Chief Tarrick McGuire, Chief Shon Barnes, and Dr. Obed Magny, used their journey to reflect on what it means to be Black men and law enforcement leaders in the United States.

Their experience is now a powerful 17-minute film, The 54th Mile Project, which provides a call for collective action to enhance police interactions and relationships with communities of color in the United States.


Transforming Policing By Inspiring A National Initiative

We're answering the film's call to action by launching a national initiative to strengthen connection between the police and communities of color.

Who Are We?

Building upon the powerful message from the documentary, the National Policing Institute (NPI), with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, is launching a national initiative to strengthen connections between the police and communities of color.

In collaboration with the project co-founders and a steering committee of leading subject matter experts, NPI will develop, pilot, and evaluate an innovative training program to assist police executives in engaging in difficult conversations on race and policing, enhancing community relationships, and promoting diversity in the policing profession.


  • Create and leverage a Steering Committee to inform the national initiative.
  • Create and pilot a training curriculum for law enforcement executives.
  • Develop an online platform and outreach campaign.

Project Co-founders

Assistant Chief Tarrick McGuire
Asst. Chief Tarrick McGuire

Tarrick McGuire has served in multiple positions before being appointed Assistant Police Chief in 2022.

Police Chief Shon F. Barnes
Chief Shon F. Barnes

Chief Barnes is a nationally recognized leader in crime reduction and community-police relations.

Dr. Obed Magny
Dr. Obed Magny

Dr. Obed Magny is the Founder and CEO of Magny Leadership, a management consulting company.

Steering Committee

A photo collage of committee members

“A DEMOCRACY cannot thrive where power remains unchecked and justice is reserved for a select few. Ignoring these cries and failing to respond to this MOVEMENT is simply not an option — for PEACE cannot exist where JUSTICE is not served.” — John Lewis

What's Next?

A national outreach campaign and website will also be established to create a space to engage the policing field and share resources to support agencies in enhancing connections with their communities.

More information about the scope of work under this initiative can be found here.

  • Assist police executives in engaging in difficult conversations on race and policing
  • Enhance community relationships
  • Promote diversity in the policing profession

“As I think about the future of The 54th Mile Project, my hope is that it can be a roadmap, a way for police leaders, executives, community members to come together. To move forward and understand how we hold each other accountable so that we can reach our goals of a more fair and just society. Not just in your community but our society as a whole.”

Shon Barnes
Chief of Police, City of Madison

Stay Connected!

We’re just getting started! There will be much more to share in the coming months.

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