UIPD joins with NAACP of Champaign County to adopt shared principles

URBANA, Ill. – The University of Illinois Police Department and the NAACP Champaign County Branch will exhibit a set of shared principles designed to build trust between police and communities of color.

The ceremony will take place on Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. at the University of Illinois Police Department, 1110 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana.

The University of Illinois Police Department in 2018 adopted the shared principles developed by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the NAACP State Conference. Now, UIPD and the Champaign County NAACP will hold a joint ceremony to reinforce their importance.

The shared principles document is a joint statement on the values that police and communities of color hold in common. Among those are the idea that the life of every person is of the highest value, that all persons should be treated with dignity and respect, and that discrimination of any kind must be rejected. Additionally, the shared principles endorse the ideas of procedural justice, transparency, accountability, fairness and impartiality, as well as de-escalation training and increasing diversity in law enforcement. All 10 of the shared principles are on the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police website.

Minnie Pearson, President of the NAACP Champaign County Branch, stated that the NAACP is honored to work and stand with the University of Illinois Police Department on the 10 shared principles, designed to build trust which is also a positive step envisioned to build a stronger less fearful relationship between people of color and the police. She also agrees that all 10 of these shared principles are important and are effective tools when they are implemented by trained police officers. 

“They will over time serve to be a positive step to building a mutual trusting relationship. They are not only important for our law enforcement, but it creates an environment where the police are not always seen as someone to fear,” Pearson said. “We have all had our own personal experiences with the police at one time or another, and we also know what good policing looks and feels like. Good community policing is about understanding cultural diversity and bridging the gap between the police and the Black and Brown community members. This is done by getting to know the families that police are sworn to protect and serve. This is also done by treating people of color and all citizens with respect and dignity at all times. This will ultimately produce trust between the police and the Black and Brown community.”

“These are ideals which we can all agree are important not only in law enforcement interactions, but also in the way we treat other people on a daily basis,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Craig Stone. “Community policing depends on developing strong relationships, and we recognize our responsibility to be proactive in listening to and responding to the needs of all of our community members. Highlighting our common ground is an important step in this process.”

The shared principles will be hung in the UIPD briefing room, where every patrol officer starts their shift. The document will serve as a daily reminder of the values that all community members hold in common.

NAACP President Pearson also stated that, at the end of the day or night, the community wants their family members to come home safely and police officers to return home to their families safely as well.

In Illinois, 152 police departments have adopted the shared principles.

Media contact: UIPD Communications Director Patrick Wade, 217-265-0028, pwade@illinois.edu.