UIC LAUNCHES STATEWIDE POLICE ETHICS TRAINING INITIATIVE
In a move intended to promote better communication between local police and the community, the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Public Safety Partnerships has launched a new police integrity training initiative throughout Illinois.
The initiative, funded through a $400,000 cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, is in response to a nationwide problem of alleged misconduct by law enforcement officers.
"The institute will facilitate a series of community forums in which questions of public safety-related ethics and integrity will be discussed from the point of view of both the police and the community," said James "Chip" Coldren, director of the UIC Center for Research in Law and Justice, which includes the Institute for Public Safety Partnerships. "Following these forums, we will hold workshops with police, local government and community representatives at each site to further explore the sources of miscommunication and tension between the police and the community that often result in allegations of police misconduct or use of excessive force."
Ten Illinois communities will participate in the initiative, which is scheduled to begin later this year. Using curricula developed by the Justice Department, the institute will plan workshops designed to improve communication and trust between police and the community.
"This initiative is designed to increase community involvement in solving mutual police-community problems and open constructive dialogue regarding issues of ethics and integrity," said Coldren.
Participating communities and law enforcement agencies volunteer for the initiative and have the option to take part in the institute's problem-solving training.
"This is one of the most important projects UIC has undertaken," said Coldren. "Our collaborative approach to training development and delivery will help strengthen police-community relations and ensure that the voice of those who are often disenfranchised is heard."
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