Articles on Champaign Community and Police Partnership

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Articles on Champaign Community and Police Partnership




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1) Community Representatives Continue To Work on Police Issues
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In 1998, the City of Champaign was approached by representatives of the NAACP and the Urban League of Champaign County to discuss concerns between the minority community and law enforcement officers. Some concerns included: creating a citizen review board, diversifying the police workforce; racial profiling; pre-textual traffic stops; diversity training; and increasing opportunities for minority contractors. (letter attached). As a result of this interaction, the Police Community Relations Committee was formed, a group of concerned citizens and police leadership committed to a dialogue on these concerns.

After meeting for almost a decade, the group reaffirmed its commitment to work on issues of concern in the African American community and renamed itself the Champaign Community and Police Partnership (CCAPP), to emphasize the importance of police and community working together. The mission of CCAPP is to seek solutions to policing issues raised by the African American community that will improve community and police relations. The guiding principle is based on the belief that impartial and efficient law enforcement depends upon cooperation and understanding between the African American community and police.

“The committee is not an official board, but is a group of concerned individuals, who are trying to improve police-community relations”, states City Manager Steve Carter. “Over the years, CCAPP membership has grown to include key stakeholder groups and community representatives who have offered to work with the City to reach positive solutions to these issues”, he added.

Since its inception, the committee has addressed a number of issues and implemented programs that have had a positive impact on improving police-community relations in the City, including:

Documentation of Field Interviews for analysis purposes
Installation of in car video cameras
Collection of traffic stop data (before required by State of Illinois)
Police training on Prevention Biased Police Practices
Development of a Youth Police Academy
Review of juvenile justice issues and initiation of Youth Dialogues
Creation of a local Summer Youth Employment Program with other partners
Community Feedback on Tasers
Review of the Police Complaint Process with suggestions for improvement
Research on and development of a Citizen Review Board proposal
Sponsorship of citizen & police dialogues
Efforts to increase recruitment of minorities and females
Review of School Resource Officer Program evaluation
Initiation of youth gang outreach initiatives
Identification of Youth Summer Recreation Needs and funding sources
The committee is comprised of community representatives that include the religious community, University of Illinois, Illinois Employment Training Center, NAACP of Champaign County, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, Champaign-Urbana Area Project, Champaign Park District, Parkland College, Champaign Unit #4 School District, Champaign County Housing Authority, Human Relations Commission, Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, City Staff, and at-large representatives.

In keeping with its mission CCAPP has been meeting since the Vine Street Incident to discuss community concerns about this tragic event. CCAPP members are working with City Officials to plan a community dialogue within the next few weeks to expand community involvement in finding solutions to these important community issues.

Urban League/NAACP Letter

Champaign Community and Police Partnership Members

Al Anderson, Illinois employment Training Center
Andre Arrington, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club
Arthur Culver, Champaign School District
Bishop Gwin, Religious Community
Charles Burton, Champaign Park District
Domonic Cobb, Citizen Representative
Ed Bland, Housing Authority of Champaign County
Giraldo Rosales, Citizen Representative
Jameel T. Jones, Champaign Park District
Joan Walls, City of Champaign
Joe DeLuce, Champaign Park District
Mark Aber, Human Relations Commission
Michael McFarland, Champaign School District
Minor Jackson, Parkland College
Pam Burnside, Citizen Representative
Patricia Avery, Champaign-Urbana Area Project
Rene Dunn, City of Champaign
Rev. Charles Nash, Religious Community
Rev. Jerome Chambers, NAACP
R.T. Finney, City of Champaign
Steve Carter, City of Champaign
Valerie McWilliams, Land of Lincoln Legal Aid
Source: http://ci.champaign.il.us/news/general-news/community-representatives-continue-to-work-on-police-issues/
This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 at 4:40 pm and is filed under General News, Police News. Commenting is currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

2) City moves forward on six initiatives
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City Manager Steve Carter announced today that the Community Forum has been scheduled in furtherance of one of the six initiatives (see below) identified December 8, 2009 to improve police-community relations.

Community Members are invited to attend a forum:

Monday, March 15, 2010
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Hawthorne Suites
101 Trade Center Drive
Champaign, IL
Students, parents, educators, local law enforcement and the community at large will be asked to work collaboratively in an effort to identify police-community relations and youth issues, and develop ideas for workable solutions.

The City is encouraging participation from all community members. Citizen input is key to the success of this event. During the forum, attendees will work in small groups, address pre-identified focus questions, and share their thoughts with other forum participants.

Space is limited
Please register by Wednesday, March 10, 2010 to attend. To register, contact the City of Champaign Community Relations Office at (217) 403-8830.

This event is co-sponsored by:

Champaign City Council
Human Relations Commission
Champaign Community and Police Partnership
Champaign Unit 4 School District
State Senator Michael Frerichs
State Representative Naomi Jakobsson
City of Champaign Police Initiatives

Follow through on changes to the Use of Force Policy.
Review the current police complaint process and make recommendations to the City Council for improvements based on citizen feedback.
Bring in persons from outside the City structure to review the investigation report to date and direct further investigation if needed, making recommendations to the City Manager for improvements to policy and training.
Review the police officer recruitment and selection process with the objective of greater community participation, including community representatives on the Chief’s interview panel. Frankly, we need to do a better job of recruiting, hiring and retaining more African American, Latino and women police officers, butwe need the community’s help.
Work with African American community members to create a new police officer community orientation program which will allow a new officer to positively build relationships and understanding of the African American community. We want our officers deeply immersed into the community. We want them to personally know the people they are protecting and serving.
Support the City Council and the Human Relations Commission in hosting a Community Forum, to allow citizens, police, youth and agencies serving youth, including the school district and park district, to identify police and community issues and suggest solutions.
Source: http://ci.champaign.il.us/news/general-news/city-moves-forward-on-six-initiatives/
This entry was posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010 at 1:29 pm and is filed under General News, Police News. Commenting is currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

3) Forum to tackle police relations in light of Carrington death

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 9:00am | Patrick Wade
CHAMPAIGN – How to break down barriers between the community and the police department will be the primary discussion topic during a March 15 community forum, scheduled more than five months after the police shooting death of 15-year-old Kiwane Carrington.

The forum will check off another of City Manager Steve Carter's six initiatives he presented following the death of Mr. Carrington, who was killed when Officer Daniel Norbits' gun discharged on Oct. 9, 2009.

"What happens at a lot of forums is that people get a lot of information out, and we discuss things," said city council member Will Kyles. "But if we can create some accountability on both sides of the issue, then I think things can get done."

City officials will seek suggestions from the community on how to repair a strained relationship between the city's residents and its police force, said Joan Walls, assistant to the city manager for community relations.

The forum's organizers are targeting several groups of people, Kyles said, including minorities and youths.

Bill Glithero, a member of the city's human relations commission, said he hopes that about half the forum's attendees are of a minority race, and about a quarter of them are youths.

The city has made room at the Hawthorn Suites hotel, 101 Trade Center Drive, C, for about 250 attendees, and officials are requiring pre-registration by March 10. Glithero said he hopes that about 200 residents will attend.

"We're targeting a lot of people," Walls said. "And they're going to be working together in small workout groups that will answer questions."

Those "pre-identified" questions will be finalized by a city committee before the forum. The topics will be posed to the attendees in small groups moderated by city officials.

"Essentially what the questions are asking: How can the community and the police department work together basically for the betterment of the community?" Kyles said.

"They are going to be questions that will just get to the point," Walls said.

The forum's moderators will submit a written report to Carter following the forum, and that report also will be shared with the attendees, Walls said.

Kyles said he hopes the discussion does not end at the conclusion of the forum.

"I think that really, realistically, what I'd like to see from the forum is kind of sub-groups coming out of the forum and people willing to head each individual mission," Kyles said.

The forum is one of six goals Carter presented following Mr. Carrington's death that he hopes will help the city move forward.

Mr. Carrington was shot when Norbits and Police Chief R.T. Finney responded to a report of a burglary at a 906 W. Vine St. home. According to reports, Norbits became involved in a physical struggle with Mr. Carrington when Norbits' gun fired.

It was later discovered that Mr. Carrington sometimes had been staying at the home with a friend.

Walls said city officials are continuing to accomplish the initiatives and are trying to "get really creative so citizens can check in and see how we're progressing."

The March 15 forum is the only discussion currently scheduled, but Walls said the police department and the Champaign Community and Police Partnership will be scheduling similar meetings in the future.

An internal investigation reviewing the department's policies and procedures remains ongoing. Norbits has not returned to street duty, but has been assigned to administrative duties in the station.

Meeting set

WHAT: Community forum to discuss relationship between Champaign police and residents

WHEN: March 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Hawthorn Suites, 101 Trade Center Drive, C.

Space is limited, and organizers are asking attendees to register before March 10. To register, contact the city's Community Relations Office at (217) 403-8830.

4) Debate over police partnership with local group ensues
Colleen Vest Contact me
Posted: November 3rd, 2009 - 11:58 PM
Updated: November 4th, 2009 - 7:49 PM
Tagged with: C-U Citizens for Peace and Justice, Champaign City Council, Champaign Community and Police Partnership, Terry Townsend, Champaign-Urbana
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The C-U Citizens for Peace and Justice and Champaign resident Terry Townsend called for the dismantling of the Champaign Community and Police Partnership, or CCAPP, at Tuesday night’s Champaign City Council meeting

CCAPP is a group of volunteers from the city and African American community, said Marci Dodds, Dist. 4 councilwoman.

The group meets with police monthly to discuss ways to improve relationships between the two parties.

Townsend said the group acts like “a secret society” by not allowing the public to attend the meetings.

“Tonight I battle for the soul of the city,” Townsend said. “It (CCAPP) deprives the community of synergy needed to solve its own problems.”

The group is voluntary and not elected, so it is not ruled by the open meetings act, Dodds said.

Other members of the audience who supported the disbandment said CCAPP is not representative of the area because not all community roles participate.

“This group (CCAPP) is not vetted publicly or voted on by council,” said Carol Ammons, CU Citizens for Peace and Justice member. “I challenge you (the council) to look carefully at the ongoing mission of CCAPP.”

Steve Carter, city manager, said CCAPP has tried to make improvements for the last 10 years and dismantling it would not change a productive image.

“There’s been some solid accomplishments,” he said. “The staff is ready to support any group interested in making a change.”

Will Kyles, Dist. 1 councilman who was not in attendance at the meeting, said CCAPP is taking measures toward public participation.

“Right now there is dialogue and getting rid of the group runs a risk,” he said. “You would have to come up with a totally different board, and that could take a year or two of work.”

He said this is the first time he has heard the community ask for the dismantling of CCAPP.

The demand occurred after Kiwane Carrington was shot in a skirmish with police.

Stuart Levy, Champaign resident, said he was glad the Champaign Police Department’s use of force policy was being re-examined and would the city to create a civilian review board.

“Publicize the complaint process,” he said.

“Going to the police to complain about the police is not effective.”

Champaign resident Madalyn Tinsley and other community members called for the resignation of Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney.

“We have a problem with the police department,” Tinsley said. “This is not a race issue, it’s a human issue. It needs to stop.”

Carter said there was no need to put Finney on administrative leave.

“I don’t think he did anything wrong,” Carter said.

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