July 26, 2019 – The Oak Park Police Department has officially embraced a set of principles geared toward eliminating racial tension by building mutual trust between police and the communities they serve.
Developed jointly by Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois NAACP State Conference, the 10 shared principles include commitments to value life, reject discrimination, support diversity in the police profession and develop relationships at the street and leadership levels.
Police Chief LaDon Reynolds is among law enforcement officials across Illinois to sign the document listing the principles that were the result of more than three years of collaboration between the two state associations.
“Our goal in adopting these principles is to demonstrate to the citizens of Oak Park our commitment not only to ensuring public safety, but also conducting ourselves in ways that underscore our respect for individual dignity and civil rights,” Chief Reynolds said.
“By adopting these shared principles we are making them a formal part of how the men and women of the Oak Park Police Department conduct business each and every day.”
The principles also include an endorsement of the concept of procedural justice, which values fairness, transparency and impartiality.
“Oak Park has a long history of commitment to openness and respect of all people. And I am confident that policing in Oak Park is being performed in a manner that recognizes this commitment.” Reynolds said.
“But I also understand how highly-publicized incidents in other cities and towns can lead to racial strife even here. That’s why we want it on the record that the Oak Park Police Department stands with the community when it comes to fairness, respect and racial equity.”
By adopting the shared principles, Reynolds said the Oak Park Police Department has agreed to the following:
- Value the life of every person, the preservation of life being the highest value.
- Recognize that all persons should be treated with dignity and respect.
- Reject discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, color, nationality, immigrant status, sexual orientation, gender, disability or familial status.
- Endorse the six pillars of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing including the first pillar of building trust and legitimacy.
- Endorse the four pillars of procedural justice, which are fairness, voice, transparency and impartiality.
- Endorse the values inherent in community policing, which includes positive engagement between community and police.
- Develop relationships at the leadership and street levels to eliminate racial tension.
- Accept mutual responsibility to encourage all citizens to gain a better understanding of the law to assist in interactions with police.
- Increase diversity in police departments and in the law enforcement profession
- Commit to de-escalation training to ensure the safety of community members and police officers.
For more information on the Oak Park Police Department, visit www.oak-park.us/police.