My Response to The Guardian

In the Editor’s Notes column of The Guardian, there are several claims that are false. Because false information unchecked will soon take on a life of its own, I am writing to address two key points in immediate need of correction.

I AM NOT A CANDIDATE FOR ANOTHER POLICE CHIEF JOB, NOR AM I SEEKING ONE OUT

It is an honor for me to serve as your Chief, and I competed for the opportunity. This is my department. I spent my entire career here, growing professionally alongside many of you.

LEADING OUR DEPARTMENT

I lead from the front. Whether it’s a significant scene of violence, or a foot beat at 3rd and Pine, you’ve seen me there. To say that I am out of town attending conferences and seminars more than I am here is just plain ridiculous. Every one of you is working hard. I see how committed the men and women of our department are to our city, and I recognize your work at every opportunity. Business travel is part of my job. Recruiting and retention, officer wellness, the fentanyl epidemic, and homelessness are national police issues. We benefit by working with other departments across the country to develop strategies that make our officers safer and our department stronger.

OUR DEPARTMENT IS A NATIONAL MODEL FOR POLICING

Other departments send personnel to our department to learn about our response to bias crimes, crowd management, crisis intervention, and tactical de-escalation. All of this is true – not just because we’ve done the work in our city, but because we showcased our success to our counterparts across our profession.

We’re all in this together. Whether working through COVID-19 or filling our chairs at the academy with SPD recruits, we will only succeed by supporting one another, not by tearing each other down.

We joined this profession to support public safety. We knew it was going to be a hard job, but we have the best men and women in the country working here. It is an honor to serve as your Chief, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this organization.

There is no greater city, and no greater calling. Take care of one another and be safe out there.