LIVINGSTON, NJ — In response to the protests that have taken place both locally and across the country following the death of George Floyd, Livingston Police Chief Gary Marshuetz stressed that the Livingston Police Department (LPD) does not support the actions of the former Minneapolis police officers who contributed to Floyd’s death, which he said was “upsetting, unnecessary and disturbing.”
“More importantly, Mr. Floyd’s death was unacceptable,” said Marshuetz. “Policing is a noble profession. Law enforcement officers are tasked with the tremendous responsibility of protecting and serving the public. The events that unfolded in Minneapolis serve as a blemish on all of law enforcement.”
On behalf of the entire Livingston police force, Marshuetz said the LPD “stands in solidarity with the community and recognizes the tragic and devastating nature of this incident.”
Acknowledging that events such as Floyd’s death often result in the public questioning their trust in police officers, Marshuetz added that trust is “absolutely crucial when it comes to the relationship between law enforcement and the community” and urged Livingston residents to understand that the actions of the Minneapolis police officers “are not representative of the Livingston Police Department.”
“Livingston police officers are held to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity,” he said. “Our officers participate in consistent training on Use of Force, De-Escalation Techniques and Peaceful Conflict Resolution. Our officers are out in the community building relationships and ingraining themselves in the fabric of Livingston.
“It is because of the consistent, comprehensive training that our officers willingly participate in and the strong bonds that the Livingston police officers have in the community that I am confident that an incident like this would never happen in our town.”
The chief also recognized the likelihood that “more emotions are going to be stirred up” as a result of Floyd’s death in the coming weeks and stated that the LPD not only respects the community’s right for peaceful protest, but also grieves alongside the community.
“Protests have been taking place across the country, and they pose legitimate questions about law enforcement practices and procedures,” said Marshuetz. “As law enforcement, we are committed to learning and to doing better for our community. We are also committed to the safety of all people as we navigate through these troubling times.”
He concluded that the LPD vows to “work tirelessly to further strengthen community trust and to restore [the public’s] faith in the honorable policing profession.”
“There is no greater honor than serving and protecting our unique, diverse and inclusive Township of Livingston,” he said. “The men and women of the Livingston Police Department remain steadfast in protecting the rights of all human beings who reside in and visit our town.”