October 4, 2020
At Stanislaus State, and within the University Police Department, we agree Black lives matter. No qualifications or justifications need be added to this statement, it is true on campus and off. Diversity matters. It is deeply troubling to me that a nation such as ours needs to be told or reminded of this. But the death of George Floyd has reminded us, as both members of this community and as law enforcement, that social justice and equality is something not yet enjoyed by every person. That is wrong and must change.
At Stanislaus State, the University Police strongly condemn all acts of excessive force and any instance of racially motivated policing. We also condemn the existence of hate groups that enact or advocate for violence based on generalizations of any culture, race or group of people. It is the core function of any police department to safeguard the lives of our fellow community members, and when violence and fear are prevalent, we must reevaluate ourselves to find a better way forward.
Before we move forward, we must acknowledge the past. Many of us who wear the badge and uniform every day have been disheartened by what we see in the media and even on our own campus. In our hearts we proclaim, “that’s not me, I would not have done that.” While that is certainly true, the badge and uniform as symbols of authority have collected the stains from 400 years, and those stains cannot simply be washed away with a new face. While I believe law enforcement is a noble profession, we cannot dismiss the impacts it has had on Black history. For that history, I offer my sincere apology.
I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the present. I am proud to be one of the 13 dedicated police officers who serve Stanislaus State every day. I know each of our police officers to have a deep commitment to service, placing duty to protect before duty to self. The messages of encouragement and support I and many of my staff have received over the last several months are powerful reminders of the positive bonds we share.
Looking forward, the University Police Department at Stanislaus State will continue to reevaluate our policies and how we interact with the campus community. As a start, I have placed an immediate stop to the use and training of the carotid restraint as an approved technique, and worked in conjunction with all 23 CSU Chiefs of Police to have it removed from policy systemwide. Additionally, I will be working to bring positive change through implementation of recommendations from The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, reported to President Barack Obama in May 2015.
In addition, I have advocated for forming a Campus Police Advisory Board with representation from across the campus. Working under the reality that safety on campus is a shared responsibility, the advisory board will work with UPD to promote the cause of safety throughout the University, increase awareness of safety conditions and programs among all members of the campus community, and assist in describing the means for involving campus police officers in the life of the University in ways that will create an environment that are most conducive to the intellectual, cultural, and personal development of our students.
Of course, our officers will continue to place emphasis on activities aimed at supporting our diverse campus community. Some of the ways our officers are already active within our community include:
- Student Police Academy
- Rape Aggression Defense (RAD)
- Speaking at Undocu-Ally Training at the Diversity Center
- Peace Day – International Day of Peace
- Stan State Night Safety Walk
- UPD Open House
- 10K with a Cop
- Peace Officer Memorial Run
- National Walk to School Day
- Coffee with a Cop
- Freshman Convocation Fair (in the Quad)
- Housing Move-in Day
- Dancing with the Turlock Stars
- Welcome Booth (First week of school)
- New Student Orientation
- Warrior Day
- SMART day (Students Managing Alcohol Responsibly Together)
- Bike registration at Warrior Wednesday in the Quad
- Supported the Criminal Justice Club taco & pizza fundraiser
- Finance & Resource Fair – UPD resource table
- TPD open house
- Meeting with Signal student journalists each semester
- Food Pantry donation of $5,000
In addition to Unconscious Bias Training previously provided by CFA to many UPD officers, all University Police staff, including non-sworn employees, will receive additional training relating to procedural justice and how it strengthens the relationship of trust between police and communities. This training will include the concept of implicit bias -- thoughts and feelings about social groups that can influence perceptions, decisions and actions.
As a twice over Stanislaus State alumnus, I and many members of the UPD team are proud products of the faculty here at Stanislaus State. Just as our faculty helped to form many UPD officers into who we are today, we choose to help current students to become the transformational leaders of tomorrow. The University Police will work with criminal justice faculty members where appropriate to provide meaningful learning experience in an environment where procedural justice is a priority.
Lastly, while this letter is written in the first person, it is submitted to the campus with the combined voice of our entire sworn staff. We stand together, not divided by a line of one color or another, but with you as members of the community. We are now, and always will be, stronger together.
With Warrior Pride,
Chief of Police