The City of Champaign has scheduled several listening sessions to hear public feedback about "future public safety policy decisions." The sessions will be via Zoom; the first session is Thursday, September 24th. Details are below.

City of Champaign Announces Dates for Community Listening Sessions

City seeks community input to help collaboratively frame the path forward for public safety in Champaign

The City of Champaign is pleased to announce the dates of five community listening sessions and invites members of the public to share their vision for the future of public safety in the City of Champaign. The listening sessions will be used to gather information from the public 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 community is our best partner, and it’s important our neighbors have the opportunity to voice their thoughts and expectations around policing directly to the City to help guide our future work as public servants,” said Chief of Police Anthony Cobb. “This is unquestionably an important time in our country and identifying a path forward we can all be proud of begins with listening, learning, and working together. We are committed to growing and strengthening the bonds of trust between law enforcement and our community through empathy, mutual understanding, and education. To help in this endeavor, we hope to hear from many in our community during the listening sessions.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the listening sessions will be held electronically using the Zoom meeting platform. Each session will include Chief of Police Anthony Cobb and Police command staff, City Manager Dorothy David and elected City officials. The listening sessions will be led by a moderator who will help facilitate these important community dialogues.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in any of the following listening sessions:

  •     Thursday, Sept. 24, 6-8 p.m.
  •     Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6-8 p.m.
  •     Saturday, Oct. 3, 1-3 p.m.
  •     Friday, Oct. 9, 1-3 p.m.
  •     Tuesday, Oct. 13, 6-8 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to attend and provide their comments during any of the Zoom sessions. The sessions will also be available for live viewing on CGTV (Comcast and i3 Broadband channel 5, U-verse channel 99) and live streamed on the City’s website (champaignil.gov/CGTV). Each session will be recorded and available for future on-demand viewing on the City’s website.

Following a brief introduction, each two-hour session will be dedicated to listening to the public’s input and suggestions for how to improve policing in the community. Details on how to join and participate in the Zoom meetings will be posted at champaignil.gov/communityconversations prior to the scheduled listening sessions.

Following the community listening sessions, the City will invite community members to engage in more in-depth discussions about the future of policing through a series of smaller, more conversational study circles.  More information regarding the study circles, including how to register, will be announced in the coming weeks.  Input gathered from the listening sessions and study circles will be shared with the City Council and the public in a written report at the conclusion of the process. Following the listening sessions and study circles, the City Council will also discuss this topic at a future Study Session which will allow additional opportunities for community input on the future of policing in Champaign.

Top image by Anna Longworth.