Letter to The Editor,

I Leon Smallwood-Bey, wish to address a misquote in a recent article in another publication regarding efforts to increase minority hiring within the Alton police force.

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In the article, I was misquoted as stating that no one in the Alton Police Department (APD) or the city of Alton is discriminating against black people. This misrepresentation does not accurately reflect our stance or the sentiments expressed during the interview.

What was actually conveyed is that, during the collaborative efforts with Chief of Police Jarrett Ford, there has been a fair hiring process, devoid of discrimination. I emphasized that while the recent hiring processes have shown fairness, it does not negate the historical discrimination against black individuals with the city or APD.

I affirm that there has been a documented history of discrimination against black individuals, both within the APD and the city of Alton as a whole. We stand firm in acknowledging this reality and advocating for equity and inclusion in all facets of community life.

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I want to highlight that our current Chief of Police Jarrett Ford, has demonstrated openness and willingness to enhance diversity and inclusion within the police department. Collaborative efforts are underway to actively recruit qualified black officers to serve the Alton community.

Moving forward, I urge the community to recognize the importance of accurate representation and to understand that our commitment to combating discrimination and promoting inclusivity remains steadfast.


Leon Smallwood-Bey

President of Alton Branch NAACP

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