RADFORD – In the wake of nationwide outcry over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, Radford City Police Chief Jeffrey Dodson has addressed the Radford community in an open letter. The following is the letter in its entirety.
“I write this heartbroken and apologetic for the actions of a very small portion of our profession. As law enforcement officers, we work diligently to protect the community and to preserve life. With this comes tremendous responsibility that requires trust from the community we serve. To obtain this, we must carry out our duties with equality, compassion, justice and within accordance of the law.
“The video that captures the death of George Floyd runs counter to all that law enforcement strives to achieve. The Radford City Police Department is committed to serving all with professionalism and respect. By working in conjunction with the people of the communities we serve, we strive to forge relationships built upon trust and to improve the manner in which we interact with one another.
“RCPD strives to give our officers and civilian staff the best training available to ensure that they are prepared to meet the challenges that they face on the street each day. This training includes de-escalation techniques, scenario based training, constantly reviewing use of force procedures, and crisis intervention training designed to help officers deal with those persons experiencing a mental health crisis. The agency is committed to community policing and the principles outlined by the president’s task force on 21st Century Policing.
“Modern training, accreditation, and constructional policing practices must continue to be at the center of our policing practices. The Radford City Police Department has been a state-accredited agency for over 10 years. Accreditation is a mechanism that exists to create transparency in policing practices and provides the community with a report card of its local law enforcement agency.
“Incidents such as the one in Minneapolis reinforces that although much progress has been made, more work remains. Our agency will continue to be accessible, reliable, and committed to striving for excellence in professionalism. We will continue to establish meaningful relationships with citizens, strive to be better today than we were yesterday, and always stand up for what is right.
In conclusion, we as a community are in this together. In the words of Robert Peel, “The police are the public and the public are the police.”
Chief of Police