Statement from Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen
Published May 31, 2020
We as a City are terribly disturbed by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers and the injustices suffered by so many for so long.
All of the members of the Highland Park Police Department and I deeply value our community relationships. We work to ensure that people of color living in or visiting Highland Park are treated fairly and respectfully. The City of Highland Park prioritizes eliminating hate and bias in our community and together we work to reflect the values of our community. I am proud of this partnership and of our efforts. Mr. Floyd’s death is a painful reminder to all who strive for justice of the work that remains before us and I certainly plan to continue our work going forward.
In the wake of the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers and the events that followed, I want to update you regarding our daily work to address issues of bias and hate.
- Highland Park officers receive significant training, focusing on civil rights, human rights, procedural justice, cultural competency, as well as constitutional and proper use of law enforcement authority.
- Highland Park officers require training on moral and ethical decision making, stereotyping and abuse of authority, empathizing and connecting with individuals, hate-crime legislation, cultural diversity training, and implicit bias training with the Anti-Defamation League.
- Through work on behalf of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, in partnership with the Illinois State Conference NAACP we adopted the 10 Shared Principles of Law Enforcement. These principles, the first of their kind nationally, were borne out of a shared understanding and focus on the problems faced by communities of color, their experiences with law enforcement and identifies improvements that need to be made. Every member of our police department has committed to these principles of fair policing, making us the first department in the state to do so. Since we made this commitment, over 160 other departments have followed our lead.
- We meet with high school students, bringing members of law enforcement together with students of color and establishing on-going dialogues.
- Highland Park officers have participated in city-wide anti-bullying initiatives.
- We value and uphold the City of Highland Park statement against hate:
The City of Highland Park unequivocally condemns any racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, ableist, or otherwise hate-motived groups or individuals who are threatening any form of violent acts, bigoted harassment on, or discrimination against our residents, visitors, or city staff. This behavior is never acceptable, but it is particularly outrageous that any groups would further an agenda of hate and fear.
Highland Park will take every possible action to ensure that residents, workers, and visitors will not face discrimination or harassment. Violent threats have no place in our country, state, or city, and will not be tolerated. Reports of such hate crimes are of great concern. Be assured that the City’s Police Department will continue to work closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the continued safety of our community.
- It is important that our staff reflect the community we serve. To that end, we work hard to recruit minority officers and have developed a departmental culture that respects and values the rights of all people, from every background.
It is vitally important that our community holds to our values and stands together in denouncing all acts of bigotry and violence. Hate has no home in Highland Park or anywhere.