Thursday, July 16, 2020

Romulus interim police chief explains policies

The recent social unrest and marches across the country and throughout the area, Interim Romulus Police Chief Robert Pfannes recently sent a letter to the mayor and members of the city council addressing the philosophy and performance expectations of police officers in the city.
In his letter, Pfannes said he wanted to reach out to the members of the council “during this tumultuous time in our history to let you know my stance on the killing of George Floyd.”

His letter went on, “Like all of you, I was appalled and deeply upset by what I saw in that video. The officer's callous indifference to the humanity of Mr. Floyd was painful not only to me as a police executive, but as a person.
“The actions of those officers is universally condemned in law enforcement circles. After learning the facts of the incident, I sent out a communication to the police department reiterating to them our expectations with regard to the use of force and their legal, ethical and moral obligation to stop a fellow officer if they are crossing that line.
“I want you to know that RPD's (Romulus Police Department) use of force policy prohibits the kind of restraint used on Mr. Floyd. Our city demands far better from our officers.”
Pfannes was named in March as the interim police chief during the medical leave of Police Chief Jadie Settles who has been recovering from an illness for nearly a year. Pfannes, who retired as the chief of the Ann Arbor Police Department, has more than 32 years in law enforcement. 
In his letter to the city council members, he also addressed the concerns of the community response to the police department in light of the current situation.
“The City of Romulus Police Department has worked for the trust and respect that must be earned every day and can be shattered in an instant. We here in Romulus have been fortunate to have a community that supports its police department and a police department that cares about its residents.
“We intend to maintain that trust and respect through our actions every day and hold officers accountable who violate that trust. “Last week, I instituted a Professional Standards position to ensure that we are living up to the public's expectations,” Pfannes told the council members.
“We are also in the process of attaining official accreditation by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police to ensure that our policies and training adhere to the best practices of the profession.”