I condemn the actions that led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday.
I condemn the lack of moral courage displayed by other officers who did nothing to prevent this tragedy.
I am saddened by the violence, destruction of property, and the fact that so many honest and dedicated law enforcement officers now have to combat civil unrest in their communities.
As a police leader and ethics teacher, I know that we in the law enforcement profession must do better to prepare our officers for the ethical challenges they will face in their careers.
We must do better to teach our officers how to have the moral courage to do the right thing regardless of how they think their peers may treat them.
Having the moral courage to do the right thing is what is necessary to manage police conduct before if becomes criminal.
To develop moral courage in law enforcement officers, I wrote my “Tenets of Service” in 2016; five principles for officers to follow in the performance of their duties. These Tenets are framed on a wall in the Fellsmere Police Department, are incorporated in our policy manual, and are taught to new officers during our field training program.
By institutionalizing these Tenets in this manner, we establish a culture that recognizes individualism, demands personal and peer accountability, manages discretionary power, and ultimately, maintains the public trust. The Tenets can be viewed on my website via the link below.
In the meantime, I encourage the community to post their comments here so that we can have an open, respectful, and civil conversation about the issues related to this tragedy, how they relate to our community, and what we must do AS A COMMUNITY to ensure something like this never happens in Indian River County.
Candidate for Indian River County Sheriff