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Local politicians are brainstorming ways to improve the criminal justice system

PEORIA, Ill. - Leaders in Peoria are discussing ways to improve the criminal justice system.

Wednesday State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth hosted a panel of politicians and law enforcement officers to talk about what the community can do to improve citizen understanding of laws that could impact them.

"In my opinion the community plays the biggest role," said Gordon-Booth. "Often times they don't view it that way, but that's the goal, to make sure the community understand that you do play an important role."

Gordon-Booth was accompanied by State Representative Will Guzzardi, Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell and Bartonville Police Chief Brian Fengel. She says the discussion was not a political opportunity but rather a chance to inform the community.

At the event community members asked questions about several laws, including legality surrounding body cameras and search and seizure policies.

Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul also served on the panel. He believes the dialogue went exactly as planned.

"There was positive reinforcement in terms of people giving a reaction of approval of the things that we suggest are to be put into play in a community like Peoria," said Raoul.

Raoul says, even though there were positives that came out of the meeting, the road to a successful justice system will take time.

"This is comprehensive work that does not take care of itself overnight," said Raoul. "This is an ongoing journey it must happen in a bipartisan manor."

Gordon-Booth said she hopes to have these dialogues more often in the future. She says they help leaders understand what the community wants and the community understand what is going on around them.


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