Dear Lewiston Community,
Like many Police Chiefs and Sheriffs that have addressed the unnecessary and tragic death of George Floyd as a result of police action, as well as the events taking place around the country in response, I too am disturbed and quite frankly ashamed by the actions and inactions that resulted in Mr. Floyd's death. It was preventable and should not have happened. With that said, the aftermath of destroying and burning down buildings and stores, many of which are small and locally owned businesses, does nothing but cripple the very dialogue this issue needs. There are many community protests or demonstrations happening throughout the country. Currently, our department is working with groups to assist them in the proper procedures to ensure the right of the people to assemble peacefully.
I do not shy away from having courageous conversations and dialogue with my staff and members of our community. As your local law enforcement agency, we value and depend on the relationships between our community and our department. These connections allow us to engage in meaningful conversations around events that evoke such a depth of emotion.
It is the responsibility of law enforcement leaders to take measures to prevent inappropriate actions from occurring. As part of our officers' on-going training, they will receive comprehensive instruction in constitutional policing, procedural justice, and implicit bias.
The Lewiston Police Department partners with community groups and leaders to ensure that it continues to be a learning organization. It is important that Lewiston continues to be a safe, open, welcoming, and inclusive community for all.
Police officers have to uphold the law, period. I expect our officers, myself included, to apply the law fairly and equally to all. We must do this in a manner that prioritizes and respects the sanctity of life; this includes a duty to intervene if a fellow officer is acting outside of law or policy. Not only is that our policy, but it's also our moral imperative.
I am incredibly proud of the staff of the Lewiston Police Department. I see the high moral standards, respect, and empathy they demonstrate. Police Officers take an oath and are granted the authority to protect our community. We understand that we must do so with a balance of humanity, compassion, and fairness if we are to maintain our public’s trust.
Chief Budd Hurd
Lewiston Police Department