URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — On the University of Illinois campus, several law enforcement departments used a nationwide initiative to create open dialogue with members of the community.
It’s called Faith and Blue, which is a collaboration between police and faith-based organizations to create stronger communities. Dementro Powell, Director of Community Development for U of I Police, said the relationship between communities and their departments is important and must be consistently reinforced.
“As long as we have people who are willing day by day, bit by bit, year by year, to kind of come in, work at it, chip away at it, that sorta thing, I can see this community kind of getting stronger and just building that unity that just cannot be broken,” Powell said.
National Faith and Blue Weekend wants to push for closer ties between people and law enforcement. They got plenty of help from faith groups and various local organizations to put on the event.
“People of faith, law enforcement, we’re all trying to do good in the community,” said Joe Lamberson with the Champaign Police Department. “And sometimes its great to just throw a big party, get folks together, and share how we’re all the same, share that we’re all one team.”
The event had live music, giveaways, a car show, free food and open conversations with officials. Lamberson said the day was meant to give all involved a good time.
“Its all about the opportunity to get folks out for something fun and maybe they can get something meaningful out of it while they’re at it.”
It wasn’t the only Faith and Blue event throughout the weekend. Departments also came together in Decatur and Springfield. Events continue through Sunday and Monday across the state.