The death of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, was a shocking display of disregard for human life. The actions of the former police officers involved do not reflect the standards or expectations of legitimate law enforcement and have no place in American society.
I want to assure the members of this community that the Warrington Township Police Department is committed to upholding the rights of everyone. Our officers operate under a very strict set of guidelines regarding the treatment of the people we encounter. We do not tolerate racial bias, discrimination, or the unjust use of force.
There are multiple organizations promoting policy changes meant to reduce police violence. I am proud to say that Warrington Township Police Department has already enacted most of those suggestions over the past several years. All police encounters with the public are recorded via in-car cameras and body-worn cameras. We do not allow choke holds. All of our officers are trained in de-escalation and crisis intervention. All of our officers are equipped with non-lethal intervention devices. Every use of force is stridently documented and reviewed by supervisors.
Any complaints against police officers, particularly those involving the use of force, are thoroughly reviewed and investigated by the appropriate agencies. These policies, and many others, have provided us with the foundation to protect and serve all members of this community with fairness, decency, and equality. It goes beyond that, though.
For years, the members of our department have participated in community outreach programs. Each Christmas, we participate in Shop-With-A-Cop, where police officers accompany families in need to do their holiday shopping. Our K-9 unit does story time for children in schools and online, which has been particularly well-received during the Covid-19 quarantine. Members of our department contribute to the Warrington CARES program, which provides financial relief to people in times of need.
These programs are just a small aspect of the ways Warrington Township Police Department engages with the community outside of typical law enforcement. They are, without question, some of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of police work. Police work, in itself, is an ever-evolving concept. Because of the nature of what it involves, things often go wrong. However, we continuously learn from past mistakes and attempt to do our best to improve.
There are times when the law enforcement profession fails to uphold the great responsibility that comes with the power entrusted to us by society. I promise you that we will always endeavor to deserve that trust. Thank you for allowing us the honor of being part of this community. Please continue to reach out to us, communicate with us, and share in the ways we can improve and strengthen the bonds between the Warrington Township Police Department and the public we serve.