All six law enforcement agencies in McDonough County have signed a document stating they are adopting the Ten Shared Principles of policing.
Members of the local and state NAACP also signed the document during a ceremony outside Macomb City Hall. You can read the document here.
Teresa Haley, president of the Illinois NAACP Conference, said she believes that law enforcement agencies that adopt the principles are taking a step in the right direction.
“The 10 principles for me was about developing and building trust. Building relationships between black communities and white communities, especially white officers,” she said. “Often times police officers patrol our communities but they don’t live in our communities and they don’t really have a relationship with a community.”
Haley said more than 200 law enforcement agencies throughout the state have adopted the principles. But McDonough is just the third county in which every law agency has signed on.
“I think it shows that they are of one accord. That there is unity in the community and the word unity comes from community. So if you have all of your law enforcement supporting an initiative, it shows that they’re all on the same page,” Haley said.
She said she hopes the ten principles become the new norm and that law officers get used to living by them.
Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker said his officers are already accustomed to the principles. He said the Macomb department adopted them two years ago.
“All of my officers have been trained on the shared principles. We have them posted in our briefing room so every day when they come to get their roll call, the first thing that they see are the ten principles posted on the wall,” Barker said.
Barker said one of the principles endorses de-escalation techniques, something he said his department constantly trains on.
The chief said statistics show it is working - Barker said the Macomb department handled 17,000 calls for service last year and had just 13 use-of-force incidents. He said none of the people in those use-of-force cases were tased.
Caption for the photo at the top of the page (left to right): NAACP Illinois State Criminal Justice Committee Chair Robert Moore, City of Colchester Mayor Frances Welch, Colchester Police Chief Michael DeWitt, Bushnell Police Chief Joe Fosdyck, Bushnell Mayor Robin Wilt, McDonough County Sheriff Deputy Jerel Jones, Interim Director of WIU Office of Public Safety Derek Watts, WIU Interim President Martin Abraham, Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker, NAACP Illinois State Conference President Teresa Haley, Macomb Mayor Mike Inman, McDonough County Sheriff Nick Petitgout, McDonough County NAACP Branch President Byron Oden-Shabazz, Illinois State Police Sgt. Bryon Clauson, McDonough County Board Chair Scott Schwerer, NAACP Illinois State Conference Third Vice President Diamond Jackson and Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Ed Wojcicki.