CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Sikeston Department of Public Safety, along with city and community leaders, came together Friday morning, June 26 to discuss a plan to amend community relations.
The Department of Justice has teamed up with the Sikeston police for a new program called “Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships” to create a positive relationship between the police and the black community.
“This program, to develop relationships, is number one. It’s going to prevent violence,” said Sikeston Police Director of Public Safety James McMillen. He believes the first meeting was a success.
“We have people that care about the community. They are showing up here, they are willing to work with us and we want to work with them. Hey, that’s really what it’s all about,” said City Manager Jonathan Douglass, who reached out to prominent community figures to learn more about how they can help.
“I have invited several members of the community, that we felt have good contacts in the community. Perhaps bringing in new voices, people that I don’t know personally, that the police chief does not know personally. That other members of the community do know and can reach out to.”
Sikeston Public School District Superintendent Anthony Robinson said he learned a lot during the meeting.
“I thought the meeting went well,” he said. “Very informative. And it’s exciting just to be able to start addressing issues and concerns throughout our community. And just help our community grow and get better.”
Robinson said he is happy to be a part of a proactive program.
“It’s good to be starting this and being on the forefront in this area in this region, doing a program like this,” he said.
The Strengthening the Partnerships program committee will have monthly meetings to address community issues, with the next one being on July 10.