Prepared Remarks
James R. Kruger, Jr.

President, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police


Unity Partnership - ILACP Luncheon
Naperville, Illinois
January 16, 2018

 Good afternoon,

On behalf of the over 1,300 members of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, I am honored to be here representing law enforcement leaders all across our state, and I am equally as honored to be part of this event today with Mrs. Naomi Ruth King and the members of Unity Partnership.

I have had the tremendous opportunity to work alongside Unity Partnership and the wonderful coalition of community members throughout DuPage County, bringing the community and law enforcement together.  Several of our law enforcement leaders are here today who have done some wonderful work with Unity Partnership and who serve as a template for the rest of the state. 

Because I had witnessed firsthand the potential of what is possible in DuPage County, I knew that we must expand the momentum all across Illinois, and it became one of my top priorities when I was installed as President of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police in April 2017.

What has become more apparent the more we work together is that we all want the same thing, to live in safe communities and the opportunity for everyone to be able to live out the American dream and prosper to their highest potential. 

This has also been born out but a wonderful collaboration the Association has made on a statewide basis with the Illinois State Chapter of the NAACP.  Since the widely covered national events starting in summer of 2014, the Chiefs reached out and were warmly embraced by the NAACP to begin building relationships and developing communication strategies.

We then invited NAACP members to come and speak at our annual conferences the last few years, and in turn, we’ve been invited to their annual convention for additional dialogue.  The conversations have been good and productive.

We are now working on a joint statement of shared principles about the relationship between the police and communities they serve and have been working on this collaboration for several months.  I am participating in a meeting with members of both organizations next Monday in Springfield with the hope of finalizing our joint statement very soon. 

It is my hope that I am standing alongside of NAACP state president Teresa Haley in the coming weeks to jointly announce that our two organizations are committed to working side by side to promote dignity and justice for all, and that community policing and procedural justice are not just concepts, but the litmus test by which our effectiveness and commitment are judged.

We intend to carry this message out to all parts of the state of Illinois and hope that it serves as a model all across the United States of law enforcement’s commitment to the community it serves to be that institution of justice and fairness for everyone.

As I reflect on my 36 years in law enforcement, this commitment has always been part of the oath I swore, and I would dare to say the majority of officers I have worked alongside.  But it is much more than a social contract, it is a moral obligation of who we are and who we represent.  That is why I am so passionate about this initiative and thankful for all of you here today that are as equally committed.

I want to especially thank Regina Brent, Fred Greenwood and the board of Unity Partnership for bringing us together today and giving our Association the opportunity to play a role in this important discussion.  

Thank you.