Lethbridge, Alberta – All of us have been shaken by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. More than the deeply personal grief of Mr. Floyd’s family, this inexcusable event serves as a sobering reminder of the duty we all have to respect and honour every person in our community.
It also serves as a particularly strong reminder to those of us privileged to work in policing that we hold a special responsibility to our community – to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they have an inherent right to expect as a human being.
Living up to the standards of charactered, principled policing does not happen by accident. It requires deliberate action. The honour and integrity of the police service must be fought for and protected over time, and never taken for granted.
There are many measures that the Lethbridge Police Service follows and promotes to help ensure equal treatment and respect under the law. For example, our policies are reviewed regularly, to affirm proper policing values. Officers are continually trained and the values of principled policing are reinforced. Relationships with various communities and community leaders are encouraged and cultivated.
Sometimes, individual police officers will fail in their duties, but that is a function of the frailties of human nature – it does not reflect the values and duty of the Police Service to the community. If such failures do occur, the important thing then becomes making sure the offending officers are held to account. That is how respect for the community is maintained, even in the face of failure.
No organization can claim perfection. However, I am proud of the work that has been, and continues to be undertaken in the Lethbridge Police Service, to support a peaceful and safe community for all of our people. For as long as I serve, I will continue those efforts, in good faith and with all resolve.
Chief Scott Woods
Lethbridge Police Service
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