All 26 Sangamon County police agencies sign 10 Shared Principles                      

March 22, 2019

All twenty-six Sangamon County police agencies and most of their chiefs joined in the Old State Capitol on March 22, 2019, to sign the historic 10 Shared Principles adopted a year ago by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and Illinois NAACP State Conference. The principles are designed to build trust and help create safe communities by bridging the divide between communities of color and law enforcement agencies.

Teresa Haley of Springfield, president of the Illinois NAACP State Conference, also attended the ceremony to sign the document along with the 26 agencies. The chiefs and other leaders who could not be there, including Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell, signed the document shortly before or after the event.

“I’ve had people from other states call and ask me this year, ‘how in the world did you get this to happen?’” said ILACP President Brian Fengel, Chief of Police of Bartonville, Illinois, “[and] in a few words I tell them upfront: cooperation, collaboration and people wanting to make it work.”

For the past few years ILACP Executive Director Ed Wojcicki of Springfield and NAACP leaders have been touring the state conducting discussions where leaders from both the community and police agencies talk about the principles and community policing. The principles include 10 distinct concepts, with the first being “We value the life of every person and consider life to be the highest value.”

“Everybody values life, everybody believes that everybody should be treated with respect, everybody believes that we should diversify our police departments to try to represent our communities,” said Chief Kenny Winslow of the Springfield Police Department. “The unity you see here shows commitment and the professionalism of the law enforcement in Sangamon County.”

The Old State Capitol ceremony occurred exactly one year after the two organizations first signed the Ten Shared Principles in the room where Lincoln gave his “House Divided” speech. Since then, more than 140 police agencies around the state have adopted these principles as their own.

“It was always our vision for law enforcement and NAACP leaders to stand side by side, vowing to affirm the dignity and respect of every person in all interactions, and now we’re doing that,” Wojcicki said.

In addition to those police agencies, the Village Board of Southern View earlier this month became the first municipal board or council in Illinois to adopt the 10 Shared Principles, and the Village of Jerome became the second.

“We expect other villages to follow suit, and we’re very pleased about that,” said Leland Grove Police Chief Dan Ryan, who is also a vice president of the Illinois Chiefs.

And on March 1, the ILACP and Illinois NAACP State Conference collaborated with the University of Illinois Springfield to host “Turning the Page,” designed as a conversation with college students to dispel myths and break cycles by introducing students to the 10 Shared Principles. The event at UIS was the first of its kind for the college-aged audience.

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Pictures from the March 22 event in the Old State Capitol are available on our Facebook page here.