HIGHLAND PARK – In his new role as police chief, Louis E. Jogmen is already making history for Highland Park by having the Highalnd Park Police Department join forces with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) and the Illinois NAACP in the Shared Principles Agreement.
Jogmen will present the Shared Principles Agreement, which entails the 10 concepts of good policing, at the Highland Park City Council meeting on Monday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.
According ILACP, the 10 Shared Principles are “designed to bridge the gap of mistrust between police and communities of color. The first of its kind in our nation’s history, the agreement between a NAACP state conference and a statewide law enforcement agency identifies the common ground between local law enforcement and communities of color in their commitment to and passion for defending civil rights and keeping communities safe.”
The initiative began months after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on August 9, 2014 by a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri. The ILACP responded to the protests by contacting the NAACP State Conference president, and as protests escalated throughout the country, both groups aligned a partnership “ensuring safety, dignity and justice for all citizens and police officers alike.”
Jogmen often works with the ILACP and was touched when he read about the two groups coming together. “It’s wonderful to see some positive movement in an otherwise unhappy discussion,” he said.
This prompted Jogmen to reach out to Ed Wojcicki, executive director of the ILACP, as well as, IL NAACP President Teresa Haley. “I know Teresa from way back and she’s a wonderful person who’s committed to making a difference,” he said.
Both Wojcicki and Haley thought it was a great idea for law enforcement agencies across the state to show their support.
Jogmen described some of the principles on the list, which include use of force is only a last resort and treat everyone equally with dignity and respect.
“These are things that we should be doing anyway, but what’s more important is my staff decided to endorse the list in a way to show our support to our community by printing the 10 Shared Principles of Policing on a large poster and having everyone in our police department sign it,” he said. “It’s wonderful for our community to know that everybody from our records clerks to our officers to our community service officers believe in this and support it, because this is how we police and this is what we want to be.”
Jogmen added that one of the first tasks for new HPPD hires will be to sign the document to show their belief in these principles.
The fourth principle endorses the six pillars of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing including the first pillar of building trust and legitimacy.
“Everything I’ve seen during my six weeks in Highland Park has been affirmed and the community is filled with good, hard working people who want the best for this community,” said Jogmen.
After three years of conversations with hundreds of people throughout Illinois, the announcement of the Shared Principles Agreement took place in Springfield on March 22, 2018 at the Old State Capitol, the site of Abraham Lincoln’s historic “House Divided” speech in 1858 during his candidacy for U.S. senator. In 1908 race riots were held in Springfield which led to the formation of the NAACP, according to the ILACP press release.
“I wish I was in the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln did his ‘House Divided’ speech,” said Jogmen. “No other state can lay claim to that. That’s what we’re working on avoiding, because we don’t want to be a house divided. We want to work together. The police needs the community and the community needs the police.”
How many other police departments will be involved in this effort?
“We’re doing this on our own, and when I spoke to Ed (Wojcicki) at the ILACP he was excited and hopeful that maybe other departments will do this as well,” said Jogmen.
Jogmen invited representatives from the ILACP and IL NAACP to attend the City Council meeting. About three-quarters of the HPPD has already signed the poster, and once the signatures are complete the department will have it framed to unveil at the meeting.
Jogmen encourages everyone to attend the Monday, April 9 City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Highland Park City Hall.
Below are the 10 concepts in the Shared Principles Agreement from the ILACP release:
- Value the lifeof every person, the preservation of life being the highest value
- Recognize that all persons should be treated with dignity and respect
- Reject discriminationbased 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 21stCentury 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 lawto assist in interactions with police
- Increase diversityin police departments and in the law enforcement profession
- Commit to de-escalation trainingto ensure the safety of community members and police officers, and commit to replacing mistrust with mutual trust wherever, whenever and however possible
To view the list in its entirety visit: Affirmation of 10 Shared Principles .