In light of the recent event that took place in Minneapolis, I want to assure you that the Moscow Police Department stands strong with our commitment to our community policing philosophy. I do not and will not tolerate any use of excessive force. Every officer takes an oath to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics which states in part, “my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation … .” The oath goes on to say, “I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others.”
As a police department, we are trained on how much force we can legally use, and this power and authority should never be abused. The Moscow Police Department will continue to educate first, use enforcement when needed, and use legal force only when necessary. The community rightfully expects that the officers of the Moscow Police Department will use force sparingly and only in those circumstances where the use of force is necessary and lawful. We are committed to providing a professional, ethical police service at all times and especially during these difficult times.
Our department values the cultural diversity of our community and we will continue to stand in the gap for all cultures. As fellow human beings as well as law enforcement officers, we deplore the events which occurred in Minneapolis, which resulted in the loss of life. As I have always asked, please do not judge the Moscow Police Department by the standards of other police departments across the nation. We will continue to hire and employ individuals of high integrity and character and will provide professional development which focuses on the respectful treatment of all persons, early intervention in times of crises, and to work toward peaceful resolution.
I want to thank our community for the support you have shown us through the years, and continue to show us. Our relationship with you is extremely important and we recognize that a great strength of our community is a result of this partnership.
As I have quoted many times from “Nobility of Policing,” book written by Michael J. Nila: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Our police department will continue to strive to fulfill the core values of service, Pride, integrity, compassion and excellence.
James Fry is chief of the Moscow Police Department.