Police-Community Dialogue Kicks Off in Bloomington-Normal, IL | Not in Our Town

Police-Community Dialogue Kicks Off in Bloomington-Normal, IL

"Whether racism is real or perceived is a problem that needs to be talked about," said McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage. "And we're taking a positive step here in our community."

Breaking Barriers
Photo courtesy of Mike Mantejka

The Breaking Barriers series kicked off in Bloomington-Normal, IL in January, with the first of several forums to address problems of racism in the Twin Cities. The event was sponsored by Not In Our Town Bloomington-Normal group and the local NAACP, among others.

This first event brought out more than 100 people and included at least 50 questions posed to local law enforcement leaders. Specifically, the audience raised questions about the diversity among the four law enforcement agencies represented at the meeting. Minority representation in the local police departments is currently half or less than that of the local population.

"That's the kind of topic that bears discussion when we talk about race relations in this community. How can we recruit, train and maintain a more racially balanced employment field?" an editorial in The Pantagraph asks. "If our governments, businesses, schools and health care providers look more like us — our colors, our religions, our genders, our education levels — then we have more in common and a better understanding of each other."

Learn more about this first Breaking Barriers forum at The Pantagraph.


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