Greater Scranton MLK Commission

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Peaceful Tomorrows

Focus Building Positive Race Relations and Community Policing

The Greater Scranton MLK Commission will host their annual awards dinner on January 15, 2017 in the McIlhenny Ballroom, from 2:30pm - 5:30pm.  The GSMLKC theme for 2017 is Peaceful Tomorrows, from a quote by Dr. King: Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. The focus for 2017 is community policing and building positive race relations. Guest speakers will include keynote award winning and nationally known police chief Melvin T. Russell, Chief of the Community Collaborations Division, Baltimore City Police Department; and The Honorable Judge Michael J. Barrasse, Lackawanna County Courts.


As we have had a tremendous repsose, ticket sales for the dinner are suspended at this time. Check back on Sunday to see if there is still room available . Thank you!

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Keynote Speaker: Chief Melvin T. Russell

Chief of the Community Collaboration Division, Melvin T. Russell joined The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in 1979 as a police cadet and graduated from The BPD academy in 1981 as the first African American class valedictorian and worked uniform patrol for the next few years. From 1986-2006, he worked undercover  investigating drug crimes.  In 2008, he was promoted to the deputy major of The Northeastern District.  After engaging the community in a series of initiatives the crime dropped dramatically in The Northeastern District and 11 months later Melvin was promoted to the major of The Eastern District.

With 130 officers under his command Melvin took community, faith-based, schools and all shareholder partnerships to the next level through numerous initiatives.  The Eastern District had traditionally been the most violent district.  Over the next 4 ½ years The Eastern District experienced back to back historical crime reduction that hadn’t been seen since the 60’s.  This paved the way for citywide crime reduction.

After years of success, Mr. Russell was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, then to Chief of the Community Collaboration Division (a citywide division that he created in January 2013).  Today Melvin has been successful at bringing key stakeholders of the city together to begin working towards the common goal of peace and prosperity for Baltimore City.

MLK Weekend Schedule

MLK Weekend Calendar

Penn State Worthington campus will host a special workshop on Monday, January 16 featuring Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter, Marywood University.  Click here to register.