PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– Connecting law enforcement and the community that’s the goal of a new course Peorians can attend on Wednesday.
Understanding law enforcement and the use of force is a new course from the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office.
The first course gives the public a behind the scenes look into decisions law enforcement officers face. One example is how officers decide whether to use force.
People will learn how the sheriff’s office disciplines its own staff. The sheriff’s office says they are being proactive so the community has a better understanding of law enforcement and the decisions they make.
Deputy Chief, Doug Gaa says the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office says they like to build relationships within the community.
“We believe strongly in community engagement. We also believe really highly of speaking with the public before an incident occurs. Because the better somebody has an understanding of a situation, the more able they are to accept the outcome,” Gaa said.
Gaa hopes they learn something from the public as well at the course.
“This is absolutely a give and take. Certainly, we want to give an understanding based on the foundation and the criteria on why these decisions are made. But by having that give and take relationship, until I understand how that person is viewing it or how they want a specific question answered, I gotta listen closely to what they’re saying so I can address it appropriately,” Gaa said.
Gaa says when situations occur, the public only gets pieces of the story.
“The information that’s presented to the public is only a small piece of the bigger picture and it comes in pieces of time. So understanding that not having the totality of the circumstances or an understanding of the whole circumstance, can adjust the way we view that,” Gaa said.
The course will be held Wednesday, March 4 at ICC North Campus in Peoria from 6 p.m-8p.m.