Dear UW Oshkosh community,
This is a very difficult time in our country and we would like to share our thoughts on the Officers actions in Minneapolis that resulted in the death of George Floyd. Although the UWO Police Department is not a governing body, we felt that a resolution was the appropriate way to share our thoughts, offer our apology, promise to serve our community to the best of our abilities and recommit to being a police department with the highest ethical and professional standards accountable to people whose lives we are sworn to protect.
UW Oshkosh Police Department – Resolution on Police Actions
Whereas, a black male community member in Minneapolis died in the custody of a white male Minneapolis police officer while he was clearly stating that he couldn’t breathe,
Whereas, the UW Oshkosh Police Department recognizes that the death of George Floyd isn’t the first situation like this to occur in our Country,
Whereas, the Black Lives Matter movement locally, nationally and across the world has expressed concerns for how police take specific actions against the lives of our black community members.
Whereas, the UW Oshkosh Police Department recognizes the pain and frustration that exists across our nation and knows that our community members come to UW Oshkosh from all over the world expecting to feel safe while they live, learn and develop as people,
Whereas, the UW Oshkosh Police Department apologizes for the actions of these police officers and the pain this situation has caused our community members,
Whereas, the UW Oshkosh Police Department recognizes that, even though law enforcement training and actions have gotten better over the past several decades, we still have a lot of progress to make,
Whereas, the UW Oshkosh Police Department has recognized the experiences of our own community members over the past few years and has implemented new training, resources, procedures and guidelines for our personnel to help enhance the experience UW Oshkosh community members have regardless of their race, the color of their skin, ethnicity, national origin, economic status, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political affiliation, cultural group or any other identifiable characteristic of an individual,
Whereas, the UW Oshkosh Police Department recognized a gap in how community members could provide feedback to our agency so we built additional ways to receive information from our community members such as an online “How Are We Doing?” form on the front page of our website and a location within the UWO Mobile App where community members can submit feedback about their experience with our personnel,
Whereas, we have heard informal discussions about situations that people weren’t happy about and reached out to those community members to hear their concerns and initiated investigations into those incidents to ensure that we are holding our personnel accountable for their actions,
Whereas, we consistently train our personnel on Implicit Bias, Students and Faculty for Equality (SAFE), TransSAFE, Integrating Communications and Tactics (ICAT), Trauma Informed Care and Fair & Impartial Policing and we will continue to train our personnel in these areas,
Whereas, the UW Oshkosh Police Department has reviewed our Use of Force procedures to ensure that the language reflects the necessity to ensure human life is the top priority even when control tactics are necessary to diffuse a situation,
Therefore, the UW Oshkosh Police Department will continue to be more intentional about how we work together with our underrepresented community members to resolve the fears they have as a member of our community –
We promise to:
- Seek input from our underrepresented community members on how to proactively confront racist and discriminative acts that occur in our community,
- Always be available to listen to the concerns community members have about our police action,
- Continue to thoroughly review every use of force incident to determine if those actions were absolutely necessary to resolve the situation peacefully,
- Make appropriate training and disciplinary decisions, based on the oath, our procedures and the department code of conduct that employees agree to when they accept a position, when police personnel take inappropriate police actions,
- Improve the ways that we advertise open positions to specifically reach underrepresented community members who are looking for positions in law enforcement,
- Always understand the value of every human life regardless of the circumstance that we’re faced with.
Now, Be it resolved, that upon passage of this statement, a copy of this statement will be sent out to all UW Oshkosh Police Department personnel, Chancellor Andrew Leavitt, the UW Oshkosh cabinet members, the UW Oshkosh student body, UW Oshkosh employees and the law enforcement agencies that we work with in Winnebago County and across the State of Wisconsin.
Chief of Police