Dear Editor:

The members of the Union County Police Chiefs Association (UCPCA) were not only disturbed by the actions of the Minneapolis officer charged with third degree murder and manslaughter, but equally saddened and upset that other officers present didn’t act to prevent the tragic loss of life.

The indescribable and deplorable incident that recently occurred in Minneapolis is inconsistent and contrary to what police officers that work within Union County Law Enforcement agencies are taught while attending the police academy or while they provide services and protection for all.

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Officers employed within Union County are continually trained in racial profiling - including Implicit Bias training, use of force, substance abuse, dealing with mental illness, as well as other topics  and issues that they may encounter during their day-to-day interactions with the public they’ve sworn to protect.

In addition, the UCPCA works under the guidance of the NJ Attorney General’s Office on implementing and executing early warning systems that identifies any use of force patterns, along with a multitude of other possible issues, with our officers. All use of force incidents are documented, thoroughly investigated and then shared for review by the Union County Prosecutors Office as well.

The professionalism and respect for the community we serve, will always be at the forefront and continue to be our mission as Police Chiefs. We welcome citizen groups, Clergy and leaders of our communities to engage one another, as united together with understanding, cooperation and open dialog, we can overcome these difficult times.

On behalf of the UCPCA, our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Mr. Floyd’s family and friends.

Chief J. Chris Debbie,
Union County Police Chiefs Association