If you watched video #5 then you heard me speak about the social contract and what happens in societies when law enforcement officers abuse their powers and violate the terms of that contract.
What is happening NOW in communities across America is an all too familiar and predictable response to an egregious abuse of power. The violence, looting, intentional destruction of property and the murder or attempted murder of law enforcement officers are extreme examples of contract re-negotiation. It all must stop!
Conversely, while our community has so far set an example of how to gather publicly and protest peacefully, the message here and all across America is very clear: citizens will not tolerate an abuse of police power; especially when that abuse results in the loss of life. I will not tolerate it either.
But where do we go from here?
So far, law enforcement leaders all across America have condemned the actions of the Minneapolis four. The Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Sheriff’s Association have both issued statements condemning those actions and the FPCA has established a sub-committee to develop recommendations for our legislature on how to rebuild trust and accountability between law enforcement and the communities we serve (links below).
We must do more. Prior to the killing of George Floyd, I heard from countless residents during 11 town hall meetings held over 10 months on the subject of police and community relations and I shared the information obtained from those meetings in VIDEO #3 (link below)The message those residents sent during those meetings was consistent and the conclusion was also clear: the loss of respect for, and trust in our sheriffs office can no longer be ignored and must be addressed.
The killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer who abused his powers while other officers lacked the MORAL COURAGE to stop him has advanced the dialogue started during those meetings to the point where it is time to take action beyond town hall meetings, peaceful demonstrations and vigils.
As the next sheriff of Indian River County, I will do the following to rebuild respect and trust in the community and ensure accountability:
-Begin to purchase body cameras at a rate sustainable by the budget during my first year in office and continue to phase them in until all line personnel are equipped.
-Increase the number of cameras in the jail to ensure there are no “dead spots” not protected by surveillance and recording.
-Work with the Florida legislature to address deficiencies in our criminal justice system.
-Implement our vision (link below): It is called “our” vision because it was developed with information gathered from Indian River County residents during the Town Hall meetings and every public gathering I attended since declaring my candidacy in March 2019. The vision is evolving because as events happen, community input must be ongoing. The vision always focuses on the central question: how can we work together in our community to reduce crime and enhance our quality of life?
-Engage our community (part of the VISION statement): Continue current effective partnerships and create new ones to continuously address social problems in our community, police and community relations, and other problems or issues as necessary to reduce crime and enhance our quality of life. Key to this success is the implementation of my award winning “Partner Institution Policing” philosophy (link below).
-Implement my “Tenets of Service” (link below) to create a culture of personal and peer accountability and sustain that culture through training, policies, and protections for “whistleblowers”. This is how we empower officers with MORAL COURAGE and to ensure the PUBLIC TRUST.
-Develop a mentoring program to increase retention, aid in personal growth and development, advancement, and reinforce organizational values to reduce incidents of misconduct (part of the VISION statement). This is how we DEVELOP AND SUSTAIN MORAL COURAGE.
Last week, I opened this page to community dialogue when I issued my statement on the killing of George Floyd. I offer the same opportunity now. We must have a conversation about WHERE WE GO FROM HERE if we are to GET THERE TOGETHER.
It is through good relationships with the community, open dialogue, and successful collaboration with key stake-holders that issues are understood and visions are drafted, implemented, and sustained. Please continue to help with the vision by offering your comments here.
Candidate for Sheriff
Indian River County
FPCA statement of condemnation:
FSA statement of condemnation:
FPCA Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change
TENETS OF SERVICE:
PARTNER INSTITUTION POLICING:
Image retrieved from the New Yorker magazine online