ARLINGTON — The Town of Arlington is a welcoming and inclusive community that has made great strides and attempted to face every challenge and conflict with professionalism and legitimacy in mind.
The Town of Arlington, represented by its leadership team including Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Police Chief Juliann Flaherty, Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Jill Harvey and Fire Chief Kevin Kelley denounce the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department and they join in the collective sense of national sorrow that the death of George Floyd has brought on our society.
“The actions of the Minneapolis police officers leading to the death of George Floyd represent at the very least a staggering departure from the training standards of a professional peace officer whose badge represents a commitment to protect life,” Chief Flaherty said. “The behavior of these officers — whether by action or inaction — constitute a failure resulting in the ultimate cost in the loss of life. I condemn these acts in the strongest possible terms.”
Massachusetts police officers have thoroughly embraced the six pillars of the principles embodied in the final report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and remain committed to professional conduct, democratic policing and procedural justice for all people.
The Arlington Police Department undergoes regular training on de-escalation techniques, mental health, diversity and inclusion, fair and impartial policing and police legitimacy. This includes advanced training through the Police Executive Research Forum entitled “Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics” or ICAT.
“The death of George Floyd is a tragedy, and it should give pause to all Americans who value liberty,” Town Manager Chapdelaine said. “The most basic responsibility of a police officer is to protect life–the lives of all citizens, including those suspected of committing a crime who have a presumption of innocence in this nation.”
While the town leaders also denounce the burning of the police station in Minneapolis overnight Thursday, they urge that this is a time for dialog, however difficult and painful that may be.
“People do not protest because they are thugs or criminals. They protest when they feel there is serious injustice in society,” said Harvey, the town Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator. “While we never condone the destruction of property, we need words of healing from our leaders, not incitement to further acts of violence.”
The Town of Arlington makes numerous resources available for residents who are seeking more information on the community’s inclusion efforts or for those who find themselves angry, confused or in need of services. For more information visit arlingtonhumanrights.org.