The recent arrests of two of our officers, and one that occurred two years ago, has put focus on our department. As a result, we have found ourselves faced with very serious situations that we believe compel crucial conversations and communication. This includes partnering with social service agencies to ensure our organizational practices are “best practices” in dealing with allegations of domestic violence, and requesting outside agencies facilitate objective reviews of the events that occurred to help us determine organizational sanctions for those involved. We take these steps to promote transparency and to maintain the community trust we have built.
We have worked hard to build an intentional ethical culture in the Bellingham Police Department. We care deeply, and honor the trust that is bestowed upon us by our community acknowledging that this trust is fragile and easily broken. When one of our own acts in a way that is contrary to our culture, it affects us all. In our efforts to safeguard this trust, we commit to transparent processes to assure our community that we hold our employees accountable for their actions, whether committed on or off duty.
We will continue to cooperate with the investigations of the recent actions of our employees. Like any successful organization we are committed to learn from adversity and will be made better by the experience. We will continue to serve our community with pride and compassion because this is the fabric of who we are.
I am so proud of the professionalism and dedication that our police department personnel demonstrate every day as they carry out our organizational mission “Committed to Community.” This is evidenced through the work I see our Officers do every day and from the frequent genuine feedback I receive from community members, professional partners and fellow City employees.