June 8th, 2020
To the Community of Port Orchard,
The Port Orchard Police Department and our city leaders sincerely thank you for working closely with us as you organized and assembled a protest event over the weekend. It was a proud moment when nearly 200 citizens peacefully expressed their First Amendment rights regarding the murder of George Floyd and demanded our nation confront its continued systemic injustice and institutional racism. We share in your outrage and disappointment at what brought us here.
I have served as your police chief for nearly a year. I could not be more confident in the officers of this agency who help protect the peace and advance the values of equality that every one of you deserves. Our department’s values are Service, Honor, and Integrity. We live them every day, and they demand we treat every member of our community with grace and empathy.
It is never easy to be a peace officer, especially when there are those in our profession who actively erode all that we stand for. We know we must earn your trust on a daily basis. I am thankful our department has already taken many steps to ensure we perform our jobs to your expectations. Over the past year the department has completed a top-to-bottom review of our policies, and we have increased training across the board, to include annual de-escalation and anti-bias training. We have forged a relationship with the NAACP and increased our community outreach. This is a beginning. Our officers recognize we can always improve, and we will.
Each officer comes to work in the morning not knowing what dangers will be faced that day. It is our job to ensure that you are safe, and we take great pride in this responsibility. Together we will work together to set the example for the rest of our nation. It is an honor to serve you.