Watch now: Summit brings together Decatur youth, police | Education

Empowering Violence Avoidance & Restorative Practice Management at the Trainee Top

Clay Jackson

DECATUR — Jasmine Confer didn’t understand what she was offering for when Investigator Jameka Sherrod requested a volunteer at the Macon/Piatt Trainee Top on Friday at The Redemption Army.

The Chicago authorities department investigator informed the remainder of the trainees and grownups in the space what officers require to understand when somebody reports a criminal offense: what the individual appears like, consisting of hair color, what they’re using, and anything and whatever that may assist them find the individual.

Then Sherrod sent out Confer out of the space and asked the participants to compose a description of her that was as total as they might make it. A lot of weren’t able to offer much in the method of information. A couple of remembered she was using a Star Wars Tee Shirts. Some discussed her distinct tennis shoes. Det. Sherrod stated it’s crucial to remember and report as numerous information as possible.

The Macon/Piatt Trainee Top was arranged by Jill Reedy, assistant local superintendent of schools with the Macon-Piatt Regional Workplace of Education, Sherrod’s Independent Mentoring Program Inc. and the chiefs of authorities and constables of Macon and Piatt counties. 

“This is our first Macon-Piatt Youth Summit with law enforcement,” Reedy stated. “We have drawn five students from each of our school districts in Macon and Piatt counties. We’re really excited about that. We have all the chiefs of police here from all of our local law enforcement agencies, and we’ve brought this group together because we often don’t hear the perspective of our youth. I think it’s really important because they’re the future of our community and their voice is important. And we want to work really hard today. Our goal is to build positive relationships between youth and law enforcement.”

The chiefs of authorities were seated at tables with trainees from their own neighborhoods, she stated, and the program consisted of visitor speakers, like Investigator Sherrod, along with more casual conversation amongst the trainees and police officers about possible situations, making smart choices, attending to violence avoidance in schools and being “restorative leaders” in their neighborhood.

Jasmine Confer is a junior at Eisenhower High School and has actually been the victim of abuse, she stated, that made her wish to be a voice and a resource for other youths.

“I want to do something with my community for law enforcement,” she stated. “I feel like, as a kid, I want to help people. I want to help other people who have been abused to get out of situations. It brings you down when you have no one to help you.”

Chief Shane Brandel of the Decatur Cops Department stated he wished to assist develop bridges in between police and youth.

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Chicago authorities Investigator Jameka Sherrod, right, works with Eisenhower junior Jasmine Confer throughout a conference on Friday at Redemption Army in Decatur. 

“We’re talking about violence prevention, and violence is a broader issue than just shootings and stuff like that,” Brandel stated. “You’re talking about domestic violence, bullying, teen dating, getting in fights at school, so the whole thing about us just talking to the youth about options outside of turning to violence that they have available to them, to resolve their conflicts without resorting to violence, that’s the whole purpose. It helps their lives, it helps their school, it helps their community and it gives the life skills in terms of conflict resolution.”

There’s typically a detach in between youth and police, he stated, that is mostly a matter of not comprehending each other.

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Deputy Chief Shane Brandel speaks about training for authorities in December 2019. 

“Most adults look at youth and go, ‘What’s wrong with our kids?’” he stated. “Every generation does that. And the truth is, there’s nothing wrong with our kids. We’re just not connected. There’s just that generational gap. The music is different, the style is different and every generation goes through that.”

Jarmese Sherrod, who is the older sibling of Jameka Sherrod, asked her sibling to come since while Chicago is certainly a larger city with larger issues than Decatur, the fundamental problems are the very same. The hope, Sherrod stated, is that the trainees will return to their schools and affect their peers.

“We’re talking about community connections and a sustainable solutions,” she stated. “We want the students to be aware of things but also more than anything, we want to build a positive relationship between law enforcement and students.”

In order to fix the issue of violence, she stated, every stakeholder requires to be at the table.

“In (Detective Sherrod’s) career, she wants to make sure she never sees any of these kids in a situation that could cause them harm,” Dr. Sherrod stated. “With that being said, this is the best time to do this, because we hope these kids will hear this and take it back to their schools, to hopefully put something in every school that is dealing with violence prevention.”

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.