NAACP to police: Just smile

Illinois NAACP President Teresa Haley asked her granddaughter what police can do to be more approachable.

“They should just smile,” the girl said. Could it be that simple?

Haley agreed to pose for a “Selfie for Support” in a program sponsored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. She was smiling. So was the deputy chief with her. And the program got some TV coverage this week on a Chicago TV station.

Teresa Haley, president of the Illinois NAACP, poses with Park Ridge Deputy Chief Lou Jogmen in a “Selfies for Support” promotion. Reporter Craig Wall tells the story on Chicago’s Fox 32.

Related: Obama’s support for law enforcement

Recognizing the administrative staff: just do it

Here’s something that’s not a joke: When I meet someone’s top administrative person, I often say, “You’re the one who actually runs things, aren’t you?” People usually chuckle, but they don’t disagree. They are polite and appropriately deferential — whether it’s a deputy chief or an administrative assistant.

It’s a fact that administrative assistants  have plenty to do with the success of any police department and every chief. So on Administrative Professionals Day today, I want to salute all the administrative staff in the police departments in Illinois.  And I’m pleased to say that our chiefs’ association is attempting to work more closely with the Illinois Law Enforcement Administrative Professionals (Illinois LEAP), which was organized in 1999 and is beginning to expand statewide.

If you’d like more information about this group, go to their website. Katherine Perez of the Hanover Park Police Department is the Membership Committee Chair

History worth remembering

I love old documents, original documents. It’s worth remember what law enforcement leaders were thinking exactly 75 years and one day ago. That’s when our association was incorporated in 1941, and here’s exactly why:

articles of incorporation REASON 4-12-1941.pdf

And just for the record, here’s what the top of the document looked like:

articles of incorporation FRONT cropped 4-12-1941.pdf

Our top 5

Our association will be 75 years old on April 12. We have been a force for the public good in Illinois. Think of it:

  1. Professional development and training. We’ve been a leader in elevating the profession, going back to the 1950s when we pushed for a training center that became the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois.
  2. Traffic safety: We pushed for mandatory seat belts in the 1980s and 1990s when the public generally opposed it. Now most people consider seat belts a no-brainer. A simple idea that has saved too many lives to count or know about. And we led the way with the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge.
  3. International influence: Seven Illinois chiefs have been president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police since the 1940s, one in each decade.
  4. Public policy advocacy: Just this year, we worked with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to overhaul state laws on the investigation and reporting of sexual assault. All done behind the scenes. Legislation has been introduced and we hope it passes this spring. One of hundreds of examples of solid advocacy to protect Illinois citizens.
  5. Special Olympics is our special friend: We have been major backers of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for 30 years and we are wild participants in the Polar Plunge and Cop on a Top and other programs. Last year, Illinois was number two in the world in raising money for Special Olympics. Not bad.