University of Illinois Springfield community policing student Jovan Ding said he doesn't want to base his opinions of police interaction solely on social media and news reports.
"For me, I need to see that in person, to talk to them about what's going on, what we should do better in our community, or to talk to the officials about what's going on," Ding said.
"So I need that direct conversation, and I think they need that conversation to see what's really going on."
Ding, and dozens of UIS students, went to the first ever panel, which was open to the entire school.
"It's really important for the community to start engaging in these conversations, especially with all of the civil rights movements going on right now," student Amanda Mullin said.
Professor Tim Gleason said he wanted students to learn a valuable lesson - Respect.
Gleason said. "Respect is a two-way street. It's how you should act during a law enforcement encounter, and it's how law enforcement should treat a citizen when there is a contact. I think it's a great message. And I want to share it with more than just 23 students."
The panel consisted of current and retired law enforcement leaders with state, Chicago, Springfield and Champaign police departments.
They wanted to teach, but also challenge students to join the force and change it from the inside. "
"Every cop is not a bad guy, and that the law enforcement career, is a prestigious career," NOBLE's Odie Carpenter said.
This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on November 17, 2016.
Watch the story online.