UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The UI Police Department and NAACP Champaign County Branch are joining forces. In 2018, UIPD adopted ten shared principles developed by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the NAACP State Conference. Now, these local groups will work to build trust between police and people in communities of color.
The shared principles document is a joint statement n the values police and communities of color hold in common. Those include the life of every person is of the highest value, all persons should be treated with dignity and respect and discrimination of any kind must be rejected. Additionally, the movement endorses the ideas of procedural justice, transparency, accountability, fairness, impartiality and de-escalation training and increasing diversity in law enforcement.
Minnie Pearson, president of the NAACP Champaign County Branch, stated the NAACP is honored to work and stand with UIPD.
“They will over time serve to be a positive step to building a mutual trusting relationship. They are not only important for our law enforcement, but it creates an environment where the police are not always seen as someone to fear,” Pearson said. “We have all had our own personal experiences with the police at one time or another, and we also know what good policing looks and feels like. Good community policing is about understanding cultural diversity and bridging the gap between the police and the Black and Brown community members. This is done by getting to know the families that police are sworn to protect and serve. This is also done by treating people of color and all citizens with respect and dignity at all times. This will ultimately produce trust between the police and the Black and Brown community.”
“These are ideals which we can all agree are important not only in law enforcement interactions, but also in the way we treat other people on a daily basis,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Craig Stone. “Community policing depends on developing strong relationships, and we recognize our responsibility to be proactive in listening to and responding to the needs of all of our community members. Highlighting our common ground is an important step in this process.”
Pearson also stated, at the end of the day or night, the community wants its family members to come home safely and police officers to return home to their families safely as well. In Illinois, 152 police departments have adopted the shared principles.
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