Forum planned as crime expert calls for citizens, law enforcement to unite

Published: Aug. 4, 2015 at 9:31 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2015 at 9:58 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Tennessee Valley criminologist demands changes within law enforcement before, she says, someone else gets hurt.

Dr. Quanda Stevenson points at a former Madison County deputy's criminal indictment this week and a Huntsville police officer's criminal conviction last week as prime examples of credibility problems in law enforcement.

Dr. Stevenson is a criminal justice expert at Athens State University.

According to Stevenson, her classes include several police officers and sheriff's deputies. .

She's organizing a forum and wants to bring North Alabama law enforcement agencies and citizens together to hash out their differences.

Stevenson says there are bad apples in every profession.

We can not have cops, not citizens taking justice in to their own hands" says Stevenson.

Stevenson has asked us to follow up with her because she says this is a relevant topic occurring in North Alabama right now

Stevenson said it's not just the two recent cases, but also the indictment of a Madison police officer for his use of force earlier this year with an Indian man that has her upset.

"They basically are losing their credibility right now," said Stevenson. "They don't need to let this continue to the point where we go back to the 60s and 70s, with a lot of the riots that occurred between citizens and police officers. We need to solve this problem now and address this problem before it gets too far out of hand."

She said it's time to evaluate training procedures, hiring practices, and tactics to avoid further tension.

She plans on sending formal invitations to Huntsville, Madison, and Athens Police Departments, as well as Limestone and Madison County Sheriff's Offices.

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