Dear Redlands community,
Like many of you, I was shocked and saddened by the recorded police action that led to the needless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
This death is a tragedy and leaves a sickening feeling with anyone who witnessed Mr. Floyd pleading for help while the officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes. It causes many to question policing as an institution and how it can be improved to prevent unlawful uses of force and bridge gaps between communities and those who police them.
Incidents like this cause me to reflect on my responsibilities as your chief of police and how I can ensure that we are not the next viral video featuring officers displaying disregard for a human being. Since this incident, I have spoken with several people from our community who expressed support for our department, but wanted to know what we are doing to foster an environment to promote proper, positive and lawful interactions with those we serve. Here are just a few of the things we believe in that make your Redlands Police Department the agency you expect us to be:
• We believe every life is valuable and everyone deserves respect.
• We train officers in de-escalation techniques above and beyond the legal requirements to minimize our uses of force.
• We emphasize the proper use of force training that limits when force should be used and states that when resistance stops, so does the use of force.
• We select the finest officers and choose them based on their character.
• Our values are character, leadership, excellence, accountability and respect
• We respect and encourage diversity.
• We believe in and train on procedural justice that focuses on fairness, providing a voice for those we encounter, transparency and impartiality.
These are just a few of the mechanisms that promote an internal culture of positivity, service orientation and constitutional policing that define the “Redlands Way” of policing. This incident has widened a deep wound in this country and we are prepared to continue providing the highest level of policing services to our community and be leaders in the field.
Chris Catren, Redlands chief of police.