By: 1808Delaware Staff; Delaware Police Department

On Friday afternoon, Delaware Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski sent an open letter to the citizens of the city of Delaware.

The communication came after a dramatic and unsettling 24 hours with protests taking place in Minneapolis, Columbus, and other US cities resulting from the death of George Floyd while in custody of local law enforcement.

About 150 people attended a vigil in downtown Delaware on Friday night in support of Floyd.

Pijanowski’s letter, posted on social media, read as follows:

“To the Delaware Community:

Like many of you, I have followed the recent events in Minneapolis Minnesota with a heavy heart. The actions of one dishonorable police officer who had no regard for professionalism, community or human life will adversely affect us all. The events in Columbus last night are but one example.

I can assure you that the Delaware Police Department does not support or justify the actions that resulted in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I also want to assure you that as the Chief of Police, I and every member of the Delaware Police Department are committed to being responsible and accountable to you. Fair and professional policing in our community is the outcome we strive for.

We work every day to achieve that outcome by putting significant effort into education and training, by actively connecting with our community, and by developing leaders within the police department. Training and education provide the foundation to make the correct decisions when quick decisions are needed. Training provides opportunities to learn in a safe environment and to build quality experiences that we may base our actions on during rapidly occurring events. Our training officers are very clear on what is and what is not acceptable. They base our training on current events, and how not to repeat past mistakes. Engaging with the community — at events such as safety town, fish with the cops, Basketball camp, coffee with the cops, and citizen police academy to name just a few, help us build relationships. We partner with service providers to make direct connection to those services that can address the underlying causes of crime outside of the jail setting.

The relationships we build are what will help us break down walls of distrust that still exist in this community. We know that it is a long road, but it is one we are committed to.”

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