Fernandina Beach Police Department
Jim Hurley, Chief of Police (May 28 at 12:25 PM)
Posted May 31, 2020
Police departments all across the United States, and certainly here in Fernandina Beach, have worked diligently to improve community relations and build trust through open communication. We have developed action steps designed to improve training and capitalize on the latest technology and proven ideology. We have listened to community leaders and we have taught de-escalation tactics and outfitted our officers with in-car and body-worn cameras.
We have educated our police officers to be sensitive to mental health issues and homelessness, drug dependency and patterns of domestic violence. And we have focused on use of force and dealt with abuses swiftly and decisively. Our elected officials have backed our efforts by supporting budgets that provide for proper staffing, equipment and training so that our policies and procedures can be followed without obstacles or confusion. Our Mission Statement is grounded in the core belief that we respect human dignity at all times.
I want to assure our community that we do not tolerate the brutal behavior demonstrated in Minneapolis which led to the death of George Floyd. And, while I am rightfully careful in most cases to rely on the facts, which can only be determined by competent review, I find it relatively easy to denounce the actions of those officers involved in this case based solely on the clear and abundant video evidence. I usually refrain from making public comment about incendiary incidents taking place in other jurisdictions. In general terms I know that I would not appreciate others making judgments about my officers without all the relevant facts.
This case is different and especially egregious as it causes citizens, including many veteran police officers, to question a police culture that could allow such a situation to occur in the first place. I know that police chiefs from cities large and small are outraged by the behavior of the officers in MN and I join them in expressing my disappointment and condemning the horrific actions of a few that serve to undermine the good works of police officers all across America.