MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Police Department has a new approach to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

City leaders, including Mayor Betsy Hodges, heard the plan Wednesday morning.

At the beginning of the year, Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau looked at ways to improve relationships between her officers and the communities they serve.

As a result, Minneapolis is one of six cities selected to participate in a three-year national program.

Deputy Chief Medaria Arradondo outlined the plan, which falls under what’s referred to as the “National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.” The initiative will help law enforcement improve trust, legitimacy and transparency.

“For communities to have compliance in the law, they must look at those folks serving them, that they have trust and legitimacy in them,” Arradondo said.

Arradondo said the initiative team will also work to represent the community through a diverse range of individuals and community groups, which could include nonprofit organizations, street outreach workers, and advocacy organizations.

“These are long-term issues,” Harteau said. “Utilizing other community members (is) critical. There’s going to be points where we have to bring various people in to have a louder voice, to be able to look at and track what we do.”

As part of the program, members of the Minneapolis police department attended training in Chicago earlier this year. They learned a range of things including interaction techniques when making arrests like how to explain to suspects the laws they’re accused of violating when making arrests.

“I think we have an enormous potential here,” Minneapolis City Council member Cam Gordon said.