We are just nine days into the new year and already the Peoria Police Department is looking ahead to how it can improve community relations in 2018.
One tool they're planning on utilizing is the city's advisory committee on police community relations.
That committee whose first meeting of the year will be held Thursday at City Hall, can serve as an ear on the streets for police,
adding another outlet of communication between the department and the community.
To make clear however, the meetings are not held town hall style for the public to voice general concerns.
Of course questions are welcome, but Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell made it clear the meeting is not an opportunity to field complaints.
However, Peoria police understand that if the community isn't happy about a decision made by the department, going directly to them may be a little uncomfortable.
That's where the advisory committee steps in.
"It is an opportunity for people who had filed a complaint through the police department and they didn't feel that they received a fair assessment or they feel like maybe they didn't get a complete investigation. It's an opportunity for them to show up at that meeting and to advise that board of how they feel." said Mitchell.
The chief or another representative from the police department will be at the meeting Thursday, which also happens to be the last day of procedural justice training.
That's where officers get the most updated training in fairness and customer service.
Chief Mitchell also says he's looking forward to getting body cams which he explains will help with transparency.
Those should be on the street by April or May.