CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A first for Sikeston, a newly-formed advisory council is bringing police and community leaders together to improve community relations.
Sikeston City Council, along with the City Police Chief, met with community leaders Friday morning to discuss community relations.
The goal was to identify ways to improve community relations.
“We are basically trying to develop a partnership with the African-American community,” stated Chief James McMillen.
He said he’s excited to attend the first meeting of Sikeston’s new advisory council at a church in Sikeston.
It comes three months after the city approved the Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships Program, a federal plan to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.
“We’re meeting basically today to see what their concerns are and some issues that we can help bridge the gap between our two organizations.”
During this afternoons meeting, people from all races, ages and economic backgrounds came together to have an open dialogue on the issues that have previously divided the community.
“Lots of people came today. They voice their concerns, we’re hearing some issues that we need to hear, and probably need to address in our department and our city,” stated Chief McMillen.
Brenda Robinson-Echols is a Sikeston native and the regional coordinator of the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension. “I grew up in Sikeston. I grew up in Sunset, I’ve always and I’ve always had a love for my community.”
She said that’s why she’s helping give back through the support of the historically college based in Jefferson City. “It’s most important to have a good relationship with the police department as well as have our kids safe and our programs to grow and prosper.”
Chief McMillen said he is excited to have an advisory council that will continue to support his ongoing efforts to connect with the entire community.