The hearts of the men and women of the Greenville Police Department are heavy with grief for the victims and their families in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas. As difficult as it is to understand why each of these incidents –and others—have occurred, the pain of this loss reverberates within our family and community much as it does throughout America.
I understand that people across our great country are looking for reassurance and answers into acts of violence by police and against police. Regrettably, there are no simple answers and no simple solutions. But here in Greenville, the men and women of the police department understand the expectations of treating all people with dignity and respect, and protecting the Constitutional rights of all. And, we understand that there are important consequences for behaving differently.
Likewise, for our officers to perform their job responsibilities effectively and safely for all, they require the cooperation of the public. For peace to prevail, our community must recognize and reinforce this ideal. In situations including the three that have occurred this week, police professionals across the country are left trying to understand how such incidents can occur and can be prevented in the future.
In my tenure with the Greenville PD, we have reformed many expectations, policies and training for our officers. We have added implicit-bias training and revised our conduct, search, force and discipline policies and training. We are actively working to implement body worn cameras. But, we remain committed to continuing to ensure that we serve our communities fairly and well. As a result of the incidents of this week, we are recommitting ourselves to look for ways we can improve your safety and ours, and further lift the ideals of peace and harmony in our community. It is my work and my hope that we can continue to find ways to bridge the gaps that divide us, and accomplish that work without violence for anyone.
We know that there will be vigils and demonstrations in our community over the coming days and weeks. It is appropriate to honor the memory of those who died, and to speak about needed reform. The Police Department will be present to guard and protect these gatherings in the interests of peace, relationship and order.