DECATUR — Jasmine Confer did not know what she was volunteering for when Detective Jameka Sherrod requested for a volunteer on the Macon/Piatt Student Summit on Friday at The Salvation Army.
The Chicago police division detective advised the remainder of the scholars and adults within the room what officers need to know when someone reports a crime: what the particular person seems to be like, together with hair colour, what they’re carrying, and something and all the pieces which may assist them spot the particular person.
Then Sherrod despatched Confer out of the room and requested the attendees to write down an outline of her that was as full as they might make it. Most weren’t in a position to present a lot in the way in which of element. A number of remembered she was carrying a Star Wars T-shirt. Some talked about her distinctive sneakers. Det. Sherrod stated it is important to memorize and report as many particulars as attainable.
The Macon/Piatt Pupil Summit was organized by Jill Reedy, assistant regional superintendent of schools with the Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education, Sherrod’s Unbiased Mentoring Program Inc. and the chiefs of police and sheriffs of Macon and Piatt counties.
“That is our first Macon-Piatt Youth Summit with legislation enforcement,” Reedy stated. “We have now drawn 5 college students from every of our college districts in Macon and Piatt counties. We’re actually enthusiastic about that. We have now all of the chiefs of police right here from all of our native legislation enforcement businesses, and we have introduced this group collectively as a result of we frequently do not hear the attitude of our youth. I feel it is actually essential as a result of they’re the way forward for our neighborhood and their voice is essential. And we wish to work actually onerous at present. Our goal is to build positive relationships between youth and law enforcement.”
The chiefs of police had been seated at tables with college students from their very own communities, she stated, and the agenda included visitor audio system, like Detective Sherrod, in addition to extra casual dialogue among the many college students and legislation enforcement officers about attainable situations, making sensible selections, addressing violence prevention in colleges and being “restorative leaders” of their neighborhood.
Jasmine Confer is a junior at Eisenhower Excessive College and has been the sufferer of abuse, she stated, which made her wish to be a voice and a useful resource for different younger folks.
“I wish to do one thing with my neighborhood for legislation enforcement,” she stated. “I really feel like, as a child, I wish to assist folks. I wish to assist different individuals who have been abused to get out of conditions. It brings you down when you don’t have any one that will help you.”
Chief Shane Brandel of the Decatur Police Department stated he needed to assist construct bridges between legislation enforcement and youth.
“We’re speaking about violence prevention, and violence is a broader problem than simply shootings and stuff like that,” Brandel stated. “You are speaking about home violence, bullying, teen courting, getting in fights at college, so the entire thing about us simply speaking to the youth about choices exterior of turning to violence that they’ve obtainable to them, to resolve their conflicts with out resorting to violence, that is the entire goal. It helps their lives, it helps their college, it helps their neighborhood and it offers the life expertise when it comes to battle decision.”
There’s typically a disconnect between youth and legislation enforcement, he stated, that’s largely a matter of not understanding one another.
“Most adults take a look at youth and go, ‘What’s improper with our children?’” he stated. “Each technology does that. And the reality is, there’s nothing improper with our children. We’re simply not linked. There’s simply that generational hole. The music is completely different, the fashion is completely different and each technology goes by way of that.”
Jarmese Sherrod, who’s the elder sister of Jameka Sherrod, requested her sister to return as a result of whereas Chicago is clearly an even bigger metropolis with larger issues than Decatur, the essential points are the identical. The hope, Sherrod stated, is that the scholars will return to their colleges and affect their friends.
“We’re speaking about neighborhood connections and a sustainable options,” she stated. “We would like the scholars to pay attention to issues but in addition greater than something, we wish to construct a constructive relationship between legislation enforcement and college students.”
With a purpose to clear up the issue of violence, she stated, each stakeholder must be on the desk.
“In (Detective Sherrod’s) profession, she desires to verify she by no means sees any of those youngsters in a scenario that might trigger them hurt,” Dr. Sherrod stated. “With that being stated, that is the perfect time to do that, as a result of we hope these youngsters will hear this and take it again to their colleges, to hopefully put one thing in each college that’s coping with violence prevention.”
PHOTOS: Jarmese Sherrod invests acts of service in Decatur
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Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Observe her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter