Message from the Chief of Police

Like many of you, I watched in horror and disbelief as George Floyd was killed as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck while he lay helpless on the ground. This disturbing image is one that I personally will never forget. I truly cannot imagine the pain and anguish that must be felt by Mr. Floyd's family and friends.

While it is difficult to make sense of the sudden loss of anyone's life, it is simply reprehensible when that life is taken away at the hands of a uniformed police officer who has taken a solemn oath to protect and serve his community. The basic principles of law enforcement require that officers only use physical force when it is absolutely necessary and then they must only use the minimum necessary force with which to effect an arrest.

I realize that watching such a disturbing scene involving a police officer committing such an atrocity will make some people question whether something like this could happen in their own community. As your police chief, I would like to assure you that the men and women of the Staunton Police Department are highly motivated and well-trained, and committed to enforcing the law while treating all citizens of and visitors to the City of Staunton respectfully, fairly and impartially. Our department has worked hard to establish genuine relationships and build trust in our community, and we ask you to continue to partner with us as we all work together through these challenging times.

While we are not perfect, we will continue to strive to be a police department our community can trust to carry out our vital mission.

Jim Williams, Chief of Police

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