(Original release date 06/17/2020)
The death of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis on May 25th was shocking and unfortunately reminiscent of the unjustified deaths by police of other black citizens in recent months and years. We believe the actions by the Minneapolis police that lead to his death were criminal and shameful. We were shocked once again by the more recent death of Mr. Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.
We agree that black lives matter, but we have also seen other incidents where those that are mentally handicapped, hearing impaired, non-English speakers, or impaired by drugs or alcohol have also suffered under the use of unreasonable force. We are saddened too by the perception that all police, everywhere are racist.
The Strasburg Borough Police Department is a progressive, professional municipal police department. Its mission is to “provide leadership to promote individual responsibility and a commitment to improving the community’s quality of life through crime control and public safety while serving all people with fairness and respect.” (emphasis added)
Over the past eighteen months the Department has completely rewritten its Policy Manual in consultation with Lexipol to ensure that all of its policies are reasonable and just. Lexipol is a nationally recognized consulting firm that provides policy recommendations based on the latest statutory and case law and progressive best practices. The new policy on the use of force includes an explicit duty to intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force. All officers are equipped with body cameras used whenever an officer leaves their patrol vehicle.
As conversations for police reform continue between the Black Lives Matter movement and public officials and legislators at all levels of government, the Strasburg Borough Police Department will continue to work to ensure its policies and practices “serve all people with fairness and respect.”