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Madison Police to form citizens advisory council

MADISON – Madison Police Chief David Jernigan said last week the police department will soon form a Citizens Advisory Council.

“As the city continues to grow, this agency will remain engaged in relationships with our citizens, communities, neighborhoods, and businesses to address crime issues, enhance the quality of life, and reduce the fear of crime throughout the city,” Chief Jernigan said in announcing the creation of the council. “Working with our mayor and city council, we will be taking community policing an extra step further in the next few months.”

He did not specify who would be asked to serve on the advisory council or how many members it will include. His remarks were made in relation to the department’s re-accrediting effort through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The Madison Police Department earned accreditation last year. “Re-accreditation comes annually and upholds policies and high standards for our department as we promote trust within the community we serve,” Chief Jernigan said. “Madison was the ninth municipality in Alabama to receive this prestigious level of professionalism, and to become part of the 5% of all law enforcement agencies in the nation to do so.”

Jernigan said the department’s CALEA-accredited policies prohibit the use of choke holds and require officers to render aid to anyone injured in a police encounter.

“Our officers are trained in topics including ethics, less than lethal response to resistance, de-escalation, procedural justice, recognizing biased based policing, and understanding multicultural differences,” he said. “Understanding Constitutional policing, employing body worn cameras, and responding to those in a mental health crisis all contribute to MPD’s established community policing.”

He said the re-accrediting process will be conducted through the month of July. In an open letter to the citizens of Madison, Chief Jernigan said he is very appreciative of their support for the department and the officers who serve the city. “Together we will meet the challenges we may face together as a community, and in partnership, overcome them.”

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