Holliday responds to appointment critics
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By Randy Pierce
Subject to an assessment by his fellow members of the Madison County Board concerning his feelings about law enforcement, Michael “Doc” Holliday shared some information at its meeting of Wednesday, February 15, about his involvement with a police training program.
Beginning by noting he is qualified as a resident of Madison County to serve as a member of the board of directors of the Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission, Holliday, who represents a district that includes much of Alton, explained that he had, on his own volition, participated in a training session hosted by this organization in Granite City to learn more about policing and what the officers involved in it experience.
The motivation for Holliday to relate the details about this scenario was based on the fact that County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler proposed him for an appointment to the SILEC Board.
The statement about the training program by Holliday was subsequent to a meeting held eight days earlier by the county board’s government relations committee during which he was asked if he supports the Illinois SAFE-T Act, its formal title consisting of the terminology of “Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity – Today,” which relates to a variety of policies, procedures and practices concerning policing, convicted offenders of the law and much more. His response was affirmative that he did support the legislation.
Holliday, also at that committee meeting, responded “no comment” when asked by other county board members about whether or not he supports certain aspects of the SAFE-T Act including questions about the release of “second-degree murderers, arsonists, child kidnappers.”
He further commented that he had concerns about issues in the community, particularly low-income areas, where there is an assumption that police “don’t like people” and behave aggressively toward them, adding that he would favor better communication to enhance relationships between law enforcement and the public.
“I want to find out more about how police see things, react to certain situations” and when they take actions involving pulling out their weapons and shooting, Holliday said.
The Granite City experience, as explained by Holliday at the full county board meeting, “was a learning process for me” where he experienced different simulated situations that police officers can encounter.
“I come from an underserved community,” Holliday, who was dressed at the county board meeting in colorful attire reflective of his African-American heritage, also said. “I think that my voice needs to be heard. The underserved people need to be served.”