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Flossmoor PD adopts ‘10 Shared Principles’ focused on trust between police, people of color

The Flossmoor Police Department has adopted a list of values designed to build trust between law enforcement and communities of color called the 10 Shared Principles of Policing. The principles were created by the NAACP Illinois State Conference and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

The Flossmoor Police Department has adopted a list of values designed to build trust between law enforcement and communities of color called the 10 Shared Principles of Policing.
 
The principles were created by the NAACP Illinois State Conference and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. The two organizations agreed to the principles on March 22, 2018, following four years of discussion in the aftermath of the deadly police shooting of an unarmed black man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri.
 
The list outlines principles such as valuing life and rejecting discrimination, and it emphasizes building relationships between police and communities while highlighting police tactics like de-escalating potentially violent situations.

The first three principles are to value the life of every person, to treat all people with dignity and respect and to reject discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, etc.
 

The fourth principle is to endorse the six pillars in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the first of which is to “build and rebuild trust through procedural justice, transparency, accountability and honest recognition of past and present obstacles.”
 
The fifth principle is to endorse the four pillars of procedural justice, which are fairness, voice (giving citizens and police an opportunity to be heard), transparency and impartiality.
 
The sixth principle is to endorse the values of community policing, such as engaging with residents outside of law enforcement interactions and collaborative rather than one-sided problem solving.
 
The seventh principle is the belief in developing ongoing relationships between law enforcement and communities of color at the leadership and street level.
 
The eighth principle is the responsibility of law enforcement and community leaders to encourage citizens to better understand the law and how to interact with law enforcement.
 
The ninth principle is to support diversity in police departments, and the tenth principle is to require de-escalation training. De-escalation tactics focus on reducing confrontation and potential danger to police and community members. The 10th principle also states that “human life should be taken only as a last resort.”
 
Flossmoor Interim Police Chief Tod Kamleiter addressed the use of these principles in the Flossmoor Police Department with the village board Sept. 16.
 
Kamleiter said former Police Chief Mike Pulec took part in one of many World Cafe Summits, a structured conversational process for knowledge sharing between groups of people. At his summit, Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton facilitated discussions among police and NAACP leaders from around the state. 
 
Kamleiter said he attended a follow-up to that summit this past summer in Springfield, and the Flossmoor Police Department officially adopted the principles shortly thereafter. 
 
“All unanimously agreed that they represent ideals that we fully support and indeed have been a part of the Flossmoor Police Department’s legacy for some time,” Kamleiter said.
 
The principles have been added to the department’s policy manual and will be displayed in the police department lobby for public view, he said.
 
“I have personally seen each of these shared principles in action at the Flossmoor Police Department,” Kamleiter said. “Some may wonder why they are even worth bringing up when they are so foundational to what we do. To that I would say that we should never miss an opportunity to build bridges between law enforcement and the people that we serve.”
 
So far, 152 Illinois law enforcement agencies out of about 800 total have adopted the 10 Shared Principles. 
 
Hazel Crest Police Chief Mitch Davis also discussed how the principles were created from the summits.
 
“What would happen is we would go into different areas, and police executives and NAACP members and community leaders would all come together,” Davis said. “We would sit down, brainstorm, and over a several-year period, these are the 10 fundamental things that we found.”
 
Davis said the shared principles list is a living document that can be updated, with police and community input alike being important.
 
“With these 10 shared principles, the greatest thing about them is that they go both ways; they are ‘shared’ principles,” he said. “When you look at the first principle, which is just having respect for folks, that’s a common thing; you want community and law enforcement folks to respect one another.”
 
Davis was the first African American to be elected to the executive board of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, which he said “speaks volumes” about his peers believing it is time to be more inclusive. 
 
Another shared principle talks about the importance of diversity among law enforcement ranks.
 
“We want law enforcement to mirror what our communities are, so these are active things that the community and law enforcement will work together on,” Davis said.
 
In October, the Flossmoor Police Department along with officers and administrators from neighboring communities will participate in a World Cafe Summit at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. 
 
Jerry Anderson, principal of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, said she participated in two of the World Cafe Summits and volunteered to host the first one specifically targeted to youth.
“I think it’s very important that we get youth voices into this in order to really understand how we can make that relationship better all the way down to the core of where we seem to, in our society, be having these issues,” Anderson said. 
 

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