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ISP District 8 Adopts '10 Shared Principles' With Peoria NAACP

Capt. Chad Peterson, commander of Illinois State Police District 8, left, and Pastor Marvin Hightower, president of the Peoria NAACP branch, read aloud the 10 Shared Principles on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020.
Capt. Chad Peterson, commander of Illinois State Police District 8, left, and Pastor Marvin Hightower, president of the Peoria NAACP branch, read aloud the 10 Shared Principles on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020.

The Peoria NAACP and Illinois State Police District 8 have adopted a set of shared principles aimed at improving the relationship between local law enforcement and the Black community.

The 10 principles call for building trust through increasing police diversity, requiring de-escalation training for law enforcement, and backing more collaborative community policing approaches.

Pastor Marvin Hightower, president of the Peoria NAACP branch, said establishing trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is important.

"We receive the pulse between the community, as well as what's going on with them, to make sure that we see each other as human beings, as well as individuals and a community together," Hightower said.

ISP District 8 includes Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall and Stark counties. Capt. Chad Peterson, commander of District 8, said opening the lines of communication with Hightower and others will be beneficial.

"Now, he has my number," Peterson said of Hightower. "He can call me any time. I have his number, if I have questions, or a misunderstanding. You know, just building that relationship, and having each other's phone calls that we can just make and personally know each other now, is just a huge step in developing those relationships."

Hightower said relationships take time to build, but this is the beginning of an ongoing communication process between the Peoria NAACP and the Illinois State Police.

Hightower said he will pursue similar shared principles agreements with the Peoria Police Department, Peoria County Sheriff's Office, Peoria Park District Police, Peoria Public Schools District 150 School resource officers, and Bradley University Police Department in the coming weeks.

"When we all do better, we all do better," said Hightower. "And so we all want to work together to make it better so we don't have those incidents we have across the country. Or, at least have a better understanding, and a better relationship to quell that."

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