State rep pushing measure to improve police-community relations

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EAST ST. LOUIS — State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, is working to facilitate understanding and cooperation between law enforcement officers and the communities they protect, and create partnerships that will keep local communities safe.

“Law enforcement and members of the community can begin to build trust with one another with more positive interactions,” Greenwood said. “Often times the effort that goes into policing is reactive to situations, but if we can urge law enforcement to take a more proactive approach to positively engage with the community, I believe we can create greater understanding and productive relationships that keep will keep all of our communities safe.”

Greenwood introduced House Resolution 122, which urges local law enforcement agencies and departments throughout the state to designate police officers as community liaison partners within their communities to help communicate with local residents, address needs and concerns, and foster mutual understanding. Greenwood’s resolution also encourages law enforcement agencies to create advisory committees that would actively involve the community in preventing and helping resolve crimes.

“The vast majority of law enforcement officers want to have positive relationships within the communities they protect, just as the vast majority of residents are law-abiding citizens who want to keep their communities safe,” she said. “Community liaison programs help police and citizens see the best in one another. I commend departments that already have community-based programs in place, and I look forward to more community-based policing programs throughout Illinois.”

Greenwood’s House Resolution 122 received bipartisan support in the House Police and First Responders Committee this week. The measure now awaits consideration before the full House.

Staff report

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