Not all those who are victims of a crime feel comfortable reporting to the police. In response, the Illinois State University Police Department (ISUPD) recently joined with the Prairie Pride Coalition to host a community awareness training for leaders to help engage and build partnerships.
The training, led by the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service, was also co-facilitated with members of the transgender, Muslim, and Sikh communities. “The goal was to help educate our local law enforcement on these three unique populations who are often victims of hate crimes, but may not report them to law enforcement due to lack of trust,” said ISUPD Chief Aaron Woodruff.
The free training included members of law enforcement, first responders, government officials, community leaders, and faith leaders working to learn more about the communities they serve. “We wanted to bring this training opportunity to our community as part of our overall mission to make the Bloomington-Normal area a more welcoming, inclusive, and culturally-sensitive environment for members of minority communities,” said Dave Bentlin, board member of the Prairie Pride Coalition.
ISUPD and Prairie Pride also collaborated with the Minority and Police Partnership and the Mobile Team Unit 8 with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
“Providing our law enforcement agencies and first responders with the information and tools they need to treat everyone fairly is another step toward fulfilling our mission,” said Bentlin.