CLEWS was inspired by the Police-Community Relations Workshops, originally funded by the State of Florida in 1985. The City of Tampa managed the workshops and Hillsborough County partnered with the city from 1987 to 2006. The program was dormant from 2007 to 2016. Under the leadership of Commissioner Les Miller and United Way Suncoast CEO Suzanne McCormick, CLEWS was funded by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and by United Way in October 2016. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Hillsborough County Public Schools and the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. (CDC) all became CLEWS sponsors. CLEWS began holding community workshops in December 2016. CLEWS formed a board of directors and was certified by the State of Florida Department of State on March 9, 2018 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Federal tax exempt status approval through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is pending.
The current CLEWS program is operated primarily by individuals who were integrally involved in the original Police-Community Relations Workshops program some 20-30 years ago. Now retired from the City of Tampa, Fred Hearns and Viola Luke are former administrative staff of the Department of Community Affairs. Tina Wright was formerly Assistant Chief with Tampa Police Department and Clarence Fort was a Deputy of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. And, Dr. Roy Kaplan was a Training Director for the former workshop program. Their combined previous and extensive experience with the workshop concept provide the basis for a renewed foundation on which to build and enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between law enforcement and the community it serves.
Ed Narain, President
Rev. Dr. James Favorite, Vice President
Mike Williams, Secretary
Dr. Liana F. Fox, Treasury
Pastor Charles Davis
Dr. Kathleen M. Heide
Board of Directors meetings are held quarterly in January, April, July and October at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, 1003 E. Palm Ave., Tampa, FL.
(From L to R) Fred Hearns, Executive Director/CEO; Tina Wright, Facilitator; John Footman, HCSO Deputy; Viola Luke Program Manager; Darrell Daniels, Lead Trainer; Clarence Fort, Facilitator (not pictured Dr. Roy Kaplan, Facilitator).
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