What Mount Prospect is doing to assure community of equitable treatment

 
Updated 6/21/2020 4:02 PM

Mount Prospect issued a message to residents Friday, outlining what the village is doing to assure the diverse community of equitable treatment and opportunity in response to a June 8 protest outside village hall.

Among those taking part in the protest was Mount Prospect resident Joann Smith, who said she has been stopped by officers for "driving while black more times than I want to even acknowledge."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The village's message said the village completed a comprehensive review of its policing policies in 2018 that examined the department's use of force. A summary of the review is at mountprospect.org/CulturalClimate.

All sworn police personnel participate in implicit bias, racial profiling and cultural competency training, the message said. It noted events such as National Night Out, which help residents become familiar with beat officers. It also mentioned multicultural programming at the Community Connections Center in South Mount Prospect.

In 2019, the village created a Community Engagement Committee, whose mission is "to bring people in the village together to embrace and celebrate diversity, serve as a community voice and provide opportunities to connect by empowering residents, businesses, and all members of the community to come together."

The committee includes both residents and business owners.

At last week's village board meeting, Mayor Arlene Juracek said the village values its diversity.

She said the village is undeniably diverse, saying, "a third of our residents are foreign born and more than 40% of our households speak a language in addition to English at home."

Yet, she said, "We all know those statistics are only a partial measure of diversity. The Black and African American population is consistently one of the least represented in our census count."

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