Carbondale hosts 'Community & Policing' forum - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Carbondale hosts 'Community & Policing' forum

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The City of Carbondale Human Relations Commission hosted a community forum on the topic of community and policing on Tuesday, May 12 inside the Carbondale Civic Center.

The forum addressed police and the community they serve.

Religious leaders including Sonja Ingebritsen with the Carbondale Peace Coalition, Carbondale Middle School teacher Alfred McGowan, and  Carbondale business owner Rahim Khalil spoke at the event moderated by the Reverend Joseph Brown.

Mayor Mike Henry and former acting mayor Don Monty and several other city officials were at the forum Tuesday.

The panel answered questions from the community and touched on issues of restorative justice and issues surrounding police and the African American community.

“We invite the people of Carbondale to enter into this community conversation," HRC Chair Jerrold Hennrich said. "By listening to one another and thinking together, we may get a firmer grasp of what's going on and a clearer idea about what kinds of changes we want made.

Hennrich said the commission would like to see the police department and city council make change with the community's input.

“Our objective is to build positive relationships between our government, the city officials, the police department and the community at large," Hennrich said.

“We need to be able to address these issues before there's ever a real problem," Hennrich said.

Southern Illinois University student, Carbondale native, and currently a Makanda, Ill. resident, Shannon Butler,  said she's lost trust in the department and hopes to get it back.

“I would like to leave here knowing that the those relationships will continue and that hopefully they will be working on building more," Butler said.

"Open your mind to individuals that do not have a life like you," Butler said.

For Linda Goforth, a Carbondale resident whose husband was a Murphysboro Police officer for 20 years, she holds whole the community accountable.

“If you're not going to tell us where the problems are, how can they be addressed? It is not snitching, it's keeping your community safe," Goforth said.

The forum titled "Community & Policing" was free and open to the public.

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