ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A local group is trying to improve the way our community interacts with police.
When you're stopped by the police it's important to know you have rights. That's what the NAACP wants people in Rockford to know and they held a presentation this afternoon showing the community what to say and how to respond when questioned by police.
The organization tells us more people are coming into their main office to complain about Rockford Police misconduct. Today they presented "The 411 on the Five-O", teaching the public what officers are allowed to do when they stop us and our rights to say “no” to searches and illegal detainment. They held the presentation not so we can learn how we can get out of trouble, the bigger message is having more positive interactions with officers so the public and police can learn to trust each other.
"We have the ingredients to work together,” said Rockford NAACP president Lloyd Johnston, “to make a positive change in our law enforcement, in our community and how they perceive law enforcement, and both working together to reduce violence and victimization in our communities."
NAACP and Rockford police are working together to mend relations between officers and the public by encouraging patrols to actually go out and talk to people and not only when they respond to a call. Both sides hope building that relationship will result in less crime.
Today's presentation was part of Rockford NAACP's recently launched “Smart and Safe” initiative.