MADISON, Ala. – Police and community relations continue to be tense in cities across the country as there have been many unarmed African Americans shot and killed by white officers – especially the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer, which rocked the nation with riots and protests.
In North Alabama, Madison Police have been actively strengthening relations with the community.
The Madison Police Department is accepting applications for a first-of-its-kind citizens advisory committee there.
“We cannot be as effective as our community wants or as they deserve without input and cooperation partnerships from our community,” said acting Madison Police Chief John Stringer.
Accepting applications for what will become the nine member citizens advisory committee will help improve things even more, Stringer said.
“This gives us an opportunity to make sure we don’t have any blind spots that we’re just not seeing; because like our citizens, our police officers want to provide the best, professional services that we can and one of the best ways we can do that is with cooperation with our citizens.”
Stringer says the advisory committee will be an avenue for those normally uncomfortable communicating with police.
“If we can get that going on and we can get that kind of communication, that kind of cooperation, we’re going to be able to solve quality of life problems before they ever become criminal activity,” Stringer said.
He says the advisory committee will also help make policing more effective.
“It will absolutely make policing more effective because what better way to understand what your city needs, what your community needs, and what specific areas are your community needs, than to get their input. For them to be able to tell you what’s going on.”
Applications for the nine member police advisory committee will be reviewed through March – you can apply here.
Stringer says they could start training the committee as soon as April.