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County Democrats call for community collaboration

Leaders call on other communities in Madison County to follow Edwardsville example

Democrat Party officials are praising the city of Edwardsville and the Edwardsville Police Department for what they call a proactive approach to understand and address issues of fairness and equality in their community.

“Now is the time that we all need to come together in order to listen to each other. We support our brothers and sister in law enforcement, while also recognizing the need to listen to those whose voices may not have been heard in the past,” said Madison County Democratic Party Chair Randy Harris. “We call on all of the communities in Madison County to create a similar task force and call on the Madison County Board chairman to engage throughout the county.”

Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton on Tuesday night announced the formation of two community action groups in response to the nation’s civil unrest. Patton said the groups will review present conditions in Edwardsville.

One committee is dedicated to fairness and equality in the community, the other is focused on fairness in policing and training, while both are seeking community engagement and listening. The measures follow Sunday’s peaceful protest staged at the county complex in downtown Edwardsville.

Members of the Democrat Party responded with a statement on Wednesday.

“Right now, we need to have open and direct dialogue with those who feel they are not being heard,” said Madison County Sheriff John Lakin. “Now is the time for us to come together to fix what’s broken in our communities. “It is an honor to wear our badge each day and to protect and serve where we live. Our law enforcement community is appalled at the reprehensible actions of those who dishonor our profession.”

Similar statements were voiced by First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe and State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons.

“I am proud of the work I do each and every day alongside the men and women of Madison County law enforcement. I’ve dedicated my entire career to public service in order to bring fairness and justice to our community,” said Uhe. “It is in times of the greatest strife that we often make the most progress. Now is the perfect time for community leaders, law enforcement, and others to come together to tackle the tough issues we face. Justice and equality is an issue we all support, and we must be truly united to advance this cause.”

Said Gibbons: “I have dedicated my life and career to serving our community and ensuring that justice is served equally and without prejudice. Despite the recent tragedy, we have an opportunity in Madison County to engage with our great law enforcement officers of this county and the community to help create a more open dialogue. I call on all of our communities to take on this challenge, our law enforcement professionals are pillars in our communities, and we have a chance to make things better for everyone.”

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