URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois Police took a step towards their goal of reconnecting with the community Thursday by reaffirming their shared principles with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The shared principles are ten guidelines that are specifically written to help build trust between the police and communities of color. They were first adopted in Illinois in March of last year. UIPD started following them then, but wanted to do more.
With the help of the NAACP, they hung the principles in their briefing room. Every officer starts their day in that room and will be able to see them before they go out.
Champaign County NAACP President Minnie Pearson says the community’s belief in law enforcement will come with time.
“The most important thing is to build a relationship, but not only for the people in our community to make it home safely, we want our police officers to make it home safely,” said Pearson. “We want the same thing. And working together with these ten principles, we are sure to get better. Now will it happen overnight? No. Trust takes a while to build.”
UIPD Chief Craig Stone helped Pearson raise the principles into their permanent place. He reiterated her by saying they are constantly reminding themselves to interact better with the community.
“We want officers to get out of the car,” said Stone. “Get out on foot. Talk to people, get to know people.”
The NAACP is hoping this will help people be less fearful of police. Some of the values written were inspired by President Obama’s Six Pillars of 21st Century Policing.