June 8, 2020
Ask the Chief
Q: I would like to know what procedures and steps are in place to ensure that the George Floyd tragedy never occurs in the City of Red Wing?
A: A: Thank you for the opportunity to address this national concern. I will answer this question in four-parts over the next four weeks.
Part 1 – Foundation and Guidance
The Red Wing Police Department values the "Sanctity of Human Life," which needs to be a focal point of everything we do and an important part of our department culture. Reviewing national and state recommendations to improve our policies and service to our community.
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is a law enforcement research and policy organization and a provider of management services, technical assistance, and executive-level education to support law enforcement agencies. In 2016, PERF released is a publication on the "30 Guiding Principles on Use of Force." This guide identifies four primary focus areas: Policy, Training and Tactics, Equipment, and Information Exchange. Thirteen of the principles deal with policy, including embracing the sanctity of human life, adopting de-escalation as agency policy, establishing a duty to intervene with officers who may be using excessive force, prohibiting firing at moving vehicles, and documentation and reporting requirements for use-of-force incidents.
On February 24, 2020, the Minnesota Attorney General's Office released their final report on Law Enforcement involved Deadly Force Encounters Working Group. Under Section 4, Policy and Legal Implications, step 4.1 states, "The State of Minnesota, working with law enforcement and community stakeholders, should review the existing use-of-force standards and statutes and recommend any revisions necessary to ensure there is a focus on the sanctity of life, as well as standards that require that the use-of-force be reasonable, necessary, and proportionate."
Upon my arrival in 2012, we updated the Mission Statement and created a Vision and eight value words to guide our actions:
The Vision of the Red Wing Police Department is to be a leader in the law enforcement community through collaboration and innovation, recognizing the historic and diverse nature of our community and contributing to the highest quality of life for our citizens.
The Red Wing Police Department's Mission is to safeguard lives and protect property, whereby, our community may enjoy a sense of peace and security. We will meet the ever-changing needs of our community through investment in our employees and building partnerships with our citizens and businesses that we are sworn to protect and serve.
Accountable: We are accountable to each other and the public we serve.
Compassion: We will carry out our duties with a spirit of compassion.
Consistency: We will be consistent in the performance of our duties.
Fairness: We will demonstrate fairness in all we do.
Integrity: We will demonstrate the highest level of integrity.
Professionalism: We will uphold the highest level of professionalism within our law enforcement community.
Respect: We will treat each other and those we serve with respect.
Teamwork: Realizing the importance and complexity of our duty, we will encourage and practice teamwork within our community and our Department.
In our vision statement we focus on understanding our history (recognizing the historic and diverse nature of our community), which can be positive or negative and forms the experiences of our community members. Our "mission is to safeguard lives and protect property, whereby, our community may enjoy a sense of peace and security." The values words exist to provide direction and guidance to our employees in the performance of their duties.
Next week, hiring practices.
References and Resources:
1. Police Executive Research Forum, Guiding Principles on Use of Force. Located online at: https://www.policeforum.org/a…/30 guiding principles.pdf
2. Minnesota Attorney General’s Deadly Encounters Working Group, Final Report, located online at https://dps.mn.gov/…/police-involved-deadly-force-encounter…
3. Red Wing Police Department, Vision, Mission and Value Policy, located online at: https://www.red-wing.org/211/Mission-Vision
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