BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — It’s been nearly a week since Jamal Simington took over as Chief of the Bloomington Police Department, and he said he’s already impressed with the level of dedication and professionalism shown by members of the department.
Chief Simington said being a resident of Bloomington for the last seven years has allowed him to build relationships in the community, connections he hopes will help him as the new chief of police.
“I will build upon those relationships that I have established, and try to strengthen those, and certainly expand it throughout the community, reaching all socioeconomic groups and certainly our businesses that operate here in the City of Bloomington,” said Chief Simington.
He said a goal of his is to make Bloomington a place where its residents don’t feel threatened.
“Everyone who operates, lives, works, plays, learns in the community wants to feel safe. 100% safe. And if we can drive down violent crime, certainly that’s an initiative that we need to continuously focus on,” Simington said.
On top of the resources the Bloomington Police Department already has, Chief Simington believes the community can help when it comes to solving crimes.
“That’s 80,000 plus eyes that are out there that observe things, witness crime afoot for instance. And the more cooperative they are with us by feeding us information, whether you do that anonymously, or when you provide it directly to a police officer, or a telecommunicator when you call in, that helps us to identify those that are involved in criminal behavior,” said Chief Simington.
His message is that the community can trust the police department with any information, and he hopes by building trust, the department can help eliminate any negative notions people might have about the police.
“Negative exposure to things that have happened outside of, certainly Bloomington, affects the whole occupation. The more we’re able to bring positive light to all the things we do, police is the public, the public is the police, and we can’t do it without the community,” said Chief Simington.