The City of Champaign is pleased to announce the dates of three police-community study circles and invites the public to engage in more in-depth discussions about the future of policing in Champaign. The study circles serve as a follow-up to the recently concluded community listening sessions. Study circles will be used to gather additional, detailed information from our residents so it can be shared with the City Council as they make future public safety policy decisions to best address the needs, interests, and values of our community.
The study circles will group approximately 10 members of the public together with police representatives to discuss topics like police-community race relations, training and education, and the role of law enforcement when responding to calls for service involving mental illness and other related social hardships.
“The listening sessions were an important first step, allowing us to learn and hear directly from our community, one that we do our best to proudly serve,” said Chief of Police Anthony Cobb. “The study circles are designed to be more conversational, allowing us to join in the dialogue with our residents, examine the challenges in front of us from many angles and begin to develop solution-oriented opportunities. Community engagement is an important piece of our work, and we look forward to conversing and learning more about our community’s vision for policing.”
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the study circles will be held electronically utilizing the Zoom meeting platform. Participants will engage in small group discussions about their vision for the future of policing in Champaign. Each group will be guided by a community facilitator and City staff will take notes about the discussions so the ideas that are developed can be shared with the City Council.
Members of the public are encouraged to register for a study circle on one of the following dates:
- Thursday, Nov. 12, 6-8 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 20, 1-3 p.m.
- Monday, Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m.
To encourage an active dialogue, each study circle date will be limited to 50 residents, who will meet in smaller groups of 10 for facilitated discussions. Space is limited and preference will be given to Champaign residents and individuals who did not participate in another study circle date. To learn more or register to participate, please visit champaignil.gov/communityconversations.
Public input gathered through the listening sessions and study circles will be shared with the public and the City Council in a written report at the conclusion of the process. The City Council will review the information collected during a Study Session meeting expected to occur early next year.