NAACP of McDonough County Holds Ten Shared Principles Signing with Area Law Enforcement Agencies

This press release is shared here, courtesy of Western Illinois University in Macomb

July 20, 2020

MACOMB, IL – Area law enforcement agencies joined local and state leaders from the NAACP Monday evening to sign the ILACP and NAACP's Ten Shared Principles for policing.

Representatives from the Office of Public Safety at Western Illinois University, the Macomb Police Department, the City of Macomb, WIU, McDonough County Board, McDonough County Sheriff's Office, Illinois State Police District 14, Bushnell Police Department, and Colchester Police Department joined NAACP of McDonough County President Byron Oden-Shabazz, State NAACP Conference President Teresa Haley, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) Executive Director Ed Wojcicki and NAACP Criminal Justice Committee Chair Robert Moore to sign the organization's Ten Shared Principles.

"We're so pleased to be here in Macomb this evening. The NAACP has worked hard to make the Ten Shared Principles come to life, and by joining together to sign these principles makes that dream a reality. Black and white folks must come together to live in harmony, work together and walk together," President Haley said. "The NAACP is about folks coming together. The Ten Principles came out of our work with the IACP. This is how Black and white folks can grow, work and live together, and tear down stereotypes. We are on the right track, but there's more work to be done."

OPS and MPD first signed the principles in 2018. More than 220 law enforcement agencies throughout the state have adopted the principles as their own.

"The historic set of Principles defines the behavior that all Illinoisans should expect when there is a encounter with our police," Moore added. "By signing this, Illinois is telling everyone we value life. By signing tonight, you're telling Macomb that you will live by these principles of trust, positive relationships and treating all people with dignity and respect.

The ILACP first joined with the NAACP Illinois State Conference in 2018 in Springfield to sign the Ten Shared Principles, which are designed to build trust between law enforcement and communities of color.

"It takes all of us working together. Our area police departments need demonstrate through actions and words that they will uphold the Ten Shared Principles for the betterment of our communities, and to build trust with our residents. We should be wiser than our past and we must focus on our future. This is one of the many steps that we must take to do so," added Oden-Shabazz. "Thank you to Chief Barker who has worked so hard to make this signing happen, and bringing us all together for our communities. By being here this evening, you are demonstrating that you are dedicated on making Macomb better."

The Ten Principles are built upon valuing the life of every person, treating all persons with dignity and respect, rejecting discrimination, building and rebuilding trust, upholding fairness and transparency, community partnerships, building strong relationships with communities of color, ensuring citizens have a better understanding of the law, supporting diversity in police departments and focusing on de-escalation training.

"This ceremony is significant because McDonough County is only the third Illinois county to coordinate adoption of the principles by all of its law enforcement agencies. This is a signal to the rest of Illinois and to all county residents that we all want the same thing – to be treated with dignity and respect and to have safe communities. I commend the local leaders for standing together in support of these principles," Wojcicki said. 

"We are so grateful to have Ms. Haley and Mr. Moore, representing the State Conference of the NAACP, and Mr. Wojcicki, representing the Illinois Chiefs of Police, here to witness our adoption of the Ten Shared Principles," said Macomb Mayor Mike Inman. “It is critical that our law enforcement officers adhere to these principles for the betterment of our communities and to ensure the well-being of our diverse populations. These are actions and behaviors we expect our departments to uphold."