A message from Mayor Linda Olson:
America has been rightly shaken by the brutal death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. The horrific video of Mr. Floyd’s last moments lays bare the systemic racism that pervades many corners of our society and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that Black Americans face on a regular basis. It is not enough to stand idly by and simply condemn the inhumane practice that led to the death of a fellow human. As a community and a nation, we must acknowledge the pervasive overt and covert racism and work together for change.
Hundreds of mayors across the US, myself included, are taking a pledge to address policies on police use of force in our community as an action step. The pledge developed by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, outlines 4 clear steps that must be taken to ensure excellence in policing.
I signed the pledge today and will encourage our City Council to support the following in the months ahead:
1. REVIEW the police use of force policies in my community.
2. ENGAGE my community by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in our review.
3. REPORT the findings of our review to my community and seek feedback within 90 days of signing this pledge.
4. REFORM my community’s police use of force policies based on findings.
More information about this Pledge can be found here: https://www.obama.org/mayor-pledge/
As a resident and an elected official, I am proud of the women and men of the Englewood Police Department who bravely work in service to our community, and I stand alongside them in continuing efforts to put safety for all at the forefront of their duties to protect and serve. I know they are committed to professional inclusive excellence and we must support them in every way to do their jobs at their highest levels.
Community engagement and transparency are key values in strengthening police excellence. The Citizen Police Academy with 9 weekly workshops has been increasing the understanding and cooperation between Englewood police and citizens since 2008. We will continue to build on this program in the years to come. Please consider participating this next year.
This last week our city council took a step towards more transparency by directing staff to bring us a plan to purchase and utilize body worn cameras for our police force. In the weeks ahead, our council and Police Chief will be considering a police oversight board that would continue to build on strong relationships and accountability between Englewood Police and our community.
Police worn cameras and oversight boards, however, do not stop racism. We all must confront the ugly and complicated nature of racism in our own personal and community lives. Please join me in personal reflection and action against our own biases and the ways those play out in our neighborhoods, community and nation.
Additionally, I invite you to an opportunity of learning together. This summer I hope to lead an Englewood Library book club to read How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi. Keep a look out for information to come.
Now is the time to reflect and to act together for social change that promotes Englewood as an inclusive community with a future for all to live and prosper safely.
Mayor Linda Olson
A message from Englewood Police Chief John Collins:
All of our officers are both shocked and saddened that such brutal force was exercised to subdue and ultimately take the life of George Floyd. Englewood Police Officers are trained to ensure this never happens in our City.
In our training practices, EPD routinely revisits our use of force policy as a reminder of any changes, significant case law(s), or any recent ruling on use of force issues nationwide.
The placement of a knee on a person’s neck during an arrest is not part of training protocol.
Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), has mandates that require all sworn personnel to complete training every five years. Englewood Police Officers are trained on proper holds and restraints, peaceful De-escalation tactics, and Anti-bias policing.
We also consider how the community and our officers can do community policing together.
For more on Englewood Police training and policies visit https://www.englewoodco.gov/city-services/city-departments/police-department/training-practices/.
Englewood Police Chief John Collins