State Police and Peoria NAACP chapter join forces to adopt principles for relationships, community policing, trust

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — On Wednesday, Illinois State Police District 8 and the Peoria Chapter of the NAACP signed the “Ten Shared Principles.”

The principles aim to build trust, relationships and encourage community policing in the area and are a part of a statewide movement to encourage relationships between police and people.

“Policing is not just about enforcing laws, it’s about educating and building trust with the members of the public,” said District 8 Captain Chad Peterson.

“When we get a positive relationship, we don’t have the problems that we have,” said Robert Moore, the criminal justice chair for the Springfield NAACP.

On the heels of recent social justice movements, leaders said these principles open a new line of communication.

“We know that there are issues and with these 10 principles, we’re resolved to work on them one day at a time, one conversation at a time,” said Ed Wojcicki, executive director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

The principles show ways the groups can work together. They indicate all lives are valued and people should be treated with respect. They encourage trust, community policing, and relationships while supporting diversity and de-escalation training, and outright rejects discrimination.

“The biggest thing that the principles do, it defines behavior,” said Moore.

It also takes a proactive approach to show how the groups can support a common cause.

“It starts the process of building the relationship. Relationships take time and this is the first step in that process,” said Marvin Hightower, president of the Peoria Chapter of the NAACP.

Hightower said the goal is to expand the adoption of the principles. He hopes to work with the Peoria Police, Bradley Police, Peoria County Sheriff’s Office, Peoria Park District Police and Peoria Public Schools.

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