A Message from Chief Treadway and the Command Staff of the Flagstaff Police Department:
Many of you should be aware by now of the tragic event which unfolded last week involving Police Officers in Minneapolis and the death of George Floyd as he was being taken into custody. This event has created division and unrest in many parts of the country. As your Chief of Police, I want to assure the community that the Flagstaff Police Department’s highest priority is the protection and preservation of life. This has been our primary mission the entire three decades I have worked with the Flagstaff Police Department and continues to be the most important part of our mission moving forward. To protect and serve is why the majority of us became Officers.
As Police Officers we are trained starting in the Police Academy to de-escalate incidents as quickly as possible but especially once control has been established. Upon our initial response we are allowed and authorized to respond to resistance within the law and pursuant to policy to gain compliance. Once compliance or custody is established, we deescalate. Our training is continual, ongoing and constantly updated with an emphasis on life and safety.
I have seen the video and the news reports surrounding the events in Minneapolis. From my observations of what has been released, I want to assure our citizens that Officers with the Flagstaff Police Department are not taught, nor does our culture condone tactics or actions seen in this video. I will not comment further on the actions of the Minneapolis Officers involved since I do not know all the facts of the case. They potentially will have their day in court and due process will judge their actions, but I can certainly relate to the strong feelings possessed by so many who have watched this very disturbing video. Let me assure you those of us committed to professional policing here at the Flagstaff Police Department share in those concerns and are equally disturbed.
While we are monitoring events taking place across the country, Flagstaff is not Minneapolis or other locals where criminal acts of civil unrest have occurred. We must ensure that we do not create or escalate divisiveness where it is not comparable. Please remember this as we move forward as a community.
Together we can emerge stronger, healthier, and more united as we better understand each other. Our Officers are always here to serve and protect you, and we thank you for your continued support.