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21st Century Police aggreeement signed by Illinois NAACP and Illinois Police Chiefs Association
Posted By: Robert Moore on November 07, 2018

Historic agreement on Policing communities of color

On March 8, 2018 The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) and the Illinois NAACP State Conference announced a resolution of shared principles that designed to bridge the gap of mistrust between police and communities of color. The first of its kind in our nation’s history, the agreement between a NAACP state conference and a statewide law enforcement agency identifies the common ground between local law enforcement and communities of color in their commitment to and passion for defending civil rights and keeping communities safe.

The partnership began four months after the crises erupting in and near Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer, when the ILACP sent a letter to the NAACP State Conference requesting a listening session to hear concerns from leaders of the African American community. As protests and confrontations rippled throughout the country, both ILACP and NAACP determined they would forge a partnership ensuring safety, dignity and justice for all citizens and police officers alike.

“The more we work together the more we understand that we all want the same thing: to live in safe communities where everyone has the opportunity to live out the American dream and live up to our potential,” said James R. Kruger Jr., president of the ILACP. “In order to do that, both law enforcement and all the people we serve need to broaden our sense of community, rebuild trust and commit to shared values.”

The historic announcement of the Shared Principles Agreement was made in Springfield, Illinois, at the Old State Capitol, the site of Abraham Lincoln’s historic “House Divided” speech. Springfield is also the site for the 1908 race riots that led to the formation of the NAACP. The new conference was open by United States Marshal (ret) Robert Moore chair of the Illinois NAACP Criminal Justice committee.

The two associations leaderships teams conducted eight joint gatherings across the state of Illinois involving hundreds of leaders from law enforcement and communities of color who participated in World Café-style conversations on topics of mutual concern. The conversations resulted in new ideas for moving forward and a stronger-than-ever commitment to working together to grow trust, improve relationships and keep our communities safe – and they identified the following shared principles:

• Value the life of every person, the preservation of life being the highest value
• Recognize that all persons should be treated with dignity and respect
• Reject discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, color, nationality, immigrant status, s*xual orientation, gender, disability, or familial status
• Endorse the six pillars of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing including the first pillar of building trust and legitimacy
• Endorse the four pillars of procedural justice, which are fairness, voice, transparency and impartiality
• Endorse the values inherent in community policing, which includes positive engagement between community and police
• Develop relationships at the leadership and street levels to eliminate racial tension
• Accept mutual responsibility to encourage all citizens to gain a better understanding of the law to assist in interactions with police
• Increase diversity in police departments and in the law enforcement profession
• Commit to de-escalation training to ensure the safety of community members and police officers, and
• Commit to replacing mistrust with mutual trust wherever, whenever and however possible.
The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois State Conference of the NAACP share the optimism and responsibility of building trust, developing formal and informal relationships at the local and state levels, and growing the number of partnerships committed to these historic Shared Principles.
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