Published on April 01, 2021
If you leave a handgun, computer, and wallet full of money in your unlocked vehicle, thieves will not take it………Okay, that is an April Fools’ joke. Thieves will, and often do, steal items that we leave in unlocked cars. They even steal the car when we leave the keys or FOB inside the vehicle. So please, don’t be an April Fool and remember to remove valuables and lock your doors.
Now that my April Fool’s joke is out of the way, I would like to discuss a serious topic with you. Recently, we have had several citizen-generated complaints on our officers. These complaints were very detailed and of a serious nature. As the Chief of Police, I was concerned. I demand a lot from our officers, and these complaints were far from reaching my expectations. I, and my Command Staff, immediately investigated these complaints. When viewing the body camera footage, we found the allegations were simply untrue. Detailed facts, which were reported to us, clearly did not occur. I am not saying that the citizens were maliciously false or lying, but what they reported, did not happen. I am aware that emotional involvement during an incident may cause someone to recollect facts differently than what actually occurred. Different perceptions and perspectives can also make us see things differently. That is why three different witnesses can give you three different versions of the same incident.
As Chief of Police, I have worked hard to build trust and provide transparency within our organizational culture. But trust and transparency are a two-way street. We all must do our best to make sure that we are doing the right thing. Without our body cameras to refute these complaints, these offices would have to carry the weight of false accusations. False complaints can damage an officer’s career by preventing them from getting an assignment they desire, or a promotion they deserve. False accusations also damage our department’s reputation and hurt our citizen’s perceptions of the valuable service we provide. So please, if I invite you into our department to discuss an incident, or view body camera footage, take me up on that offer. I want to build trust and transparency with our citizens through open and honest dialogue. I want you to know that when my officers are wrong, I will hold them accountable for their actions, but when they are right, I will defend them with the same vigor.
April 11 – 17, 2021, we will celebrate National Telecommunicators Week. We are blessed to have some of the finest telecommunicators in the business and I am extremely proud of the service they provide to our community. I have tremendous respect and admiration for them because I know how difficult their job can be. They are the unseen heroes on the other end of the phone when you dial 911. They are the calm voice in the chaos when help is needed. I thank them for all they do, and I hope all our citizens share in my admiration for all of our telecommunicators!
In closing, I would like to commend the actions of Boulder, Colorado Police Officer Eric Talley, who ran into danger to stop the shooter who killed 10 people in a Colorado supermarket. Officer Talley was one of those victims. He was killed in the line of duty, trying to save people he didn’t know. He is an American Hero. Please keep his family, and the families of all the victims of the Colorado and Atlanta shootings, in your thoughts and prayers.
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