Decatur Police Form Response Team with Decatur NAACP

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 DECATUR – The Decatur Police Department and the Decatur branch of the NAACP have formed a response team named ALERT (Area Leaders and Educators Response Team) to deal with critical situations involving law enforcement and the African American community.

This group is comprised of African American leaders in the City of Decatur. Members are representatives of areas around the city such as schools, churches and neighborhoods. Their mission is to notify the African American community of high profile incidents involving police and the African American community.

Effective communication between these groups is essential in times of crisis. Community members will be able to have immediate access to numerous leaders in the area.

NAACP President Jeanelle Norman and Decatur Police Chief Brad Sweeney began communicating in January 2015. Norman expressed concerns relating to how local law enforcement planned to handle high profile incidents in the community. They then decided a response team was the best solution. ALERT helps to provide timely, accurate and detailed information to the African American community and promotes trust and open communication.

The Decatur Police Department believes this response team will help authorities face other challenges they may have as well. ALERT will meet quarterly at the Decatur Police Department headquarters with Chief Brad Sweeney and Deputy Chief of Police James Getz.

Pioneer members of ALERT include: Dr. Jeanelle Norman, Mildred Bond, Samuel Hutson III, Thurston Wiggins, Vivian Clarington, Jeffrey Perkins, Brian Slaw, Anthony Fluker, Pastell Fuller, Lonnie Williams and Willie Lee Jr.

Additional information about ALERT can be obtained by contacting Police Chief Brad Sweeney or Dr. Jeanelle Norman (NAACP).
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