Champaign council to hear plans to move city forward after Carrington shooting

Champaign council to hear plans to move city forward after Carrington shooting

CHAMPAIGN — Nearly two years after about 300 community members gathered at a forum to discuss what breakdowns may have contributed to the fatal police shooting of a black teenager, city officials are introducing a plan they hope will continue moving the city forward.

Organizers will present the plan to the city council when it meets on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

It's called "Walk as One: A Community Moving Forward Together," and city officials hope it will push all kinds of community groups to collaborate in building stronger police-community relations and opportunities for youth.

The plan was written by a working group following direct input from the community during a March 2010 meeting, during which community members commented on the state of the relationship between the police department and the community and the opportunities — or the lack thereof, as many comments pointed out — for young people in Champaign.

The forum was organized as one of City Manager Steve Carter's six initiatives to move the community forward following the October 2009 fatal police shooting of 15-year-old Kiwane Carrington.

The plan focuses on four goals:

— Developing community partners: Led by Joan Walls, deputy city manager for community relations, officials hope to engage organizations that have a vested interest in the community and that can assist in identifying and solving low-income and youth issues.

— Improving police-community relations: Led by Champaign police Lt. Joe Gallo, organizers hope to improve the police complaint process; develop programs to educate the community on police policies and procedures and individual rights and responsibilities; and develop diversity- and culturally-based training, recruiting and hiring programs.

— Encourage healthy youth and families: Led by Tracy Parsons, project director for ACCESS Initiative, officials hope to enhance the mental and physical health of young people in the community. That includes developing programs to help young people respond to stressful and traumatic situations, encouraging fitness campaigns and healthy eating and developing a comprehensive sexual education campaign.

— Encourage youth development: Led by Orlando Thomas, director of pupil services for Champaign schools, organizers want to support parents, prepare young people for employment and provide students with tools on how to handle conflict and peer pressure.

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Joe American wrote on February 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Walk as one what??

So much for representation based on relative demographics.

bigsiss wrote on February 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm

How long do we have to hear about this for cryin out loud, its enough already.

bigsiss wrote on February 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm

How long do we have to hear about this for cryin out loud, its enough already.

freechampaign wrote on February 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Let’s just say what part of this group really means.  That some parents think it’s the community / government’s responsibility to raise their children.  Lack of opportunities in the community for the youth – how about staying in school for one and at least walking away with a high school diploma. Then maybe the opportunities will be there for you.

Uh huh wrote on February 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I, like many others, am getting sick of this being rehashed every 6 months or so.  Quit raising your kids to be uneducated, gang banging thugs and you won't have to worry about this happening.  Keep an eye on them, teach them right from wrong, teach them RESPECT...and these tragedies will cease.  End of story.  Moving on.

james33 wrote on February 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

 We all know if this was a white teenager shot this would've been well forgotten or if the pepper spray was  an obnoxious white guy they wouldn't even spend 80cents on an investigation, there wouldn't even be any sort of investigation. Very thankful for a Black Chief of Police but I'm sure this ignorance will continue. It will be very funny if that 80grand tuns into the company finding major flaws in the Champaign Police Department and the City gets sued for Millions. Ya better hope riots don't break out over this! This could be a huge turning point in the history of Champaign seeing huge riots break out because 80grand bought an answer the purchaser wants!

ankitzuelana wrote on February 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Seems to me that CU moved on nicely from the Polar Bear Hunting.