On Sunday June 7th at 4:00pm, a peaceful march and protest began in the Town of Easton. It was organized by Ava Lerman, a senior at Oliver Ames High School. During the protest, our officers stood and listened while each speaker shared stories and their experiences with racism, implicit bias, and the educational gaps that still exist in our country today.
Within police culture, it has often been taboo to take a stand or even offer an opinion about these topics. However, a few weeks ago I publicly stated that the killing of George Floyd sickens me, just as it sickens all good police officers who have chosen a profession where the protection and safeguarding of life, and putting the lives of others ahead of our own, is paramount. I still denounce the actions of those Minneapolis police officers and embrace the much needed changes within the criminal justice system.
The Easton Police Department is not blind to the national unrest taking place and we don’t turn a blind eye to what is happening around us. Many of our officers were raised in Easton and elected to give back by serving this great community with integrity, pride, and honor. We don’t pretend to be perfect because nothing can ever be, but we do strive for excellence in policing each day, that is something very important to us. We also recognize and understand that not everyone likes or will ever trust a police officer and they never will, we really do. In our department, we have a long standing model of effective community engagement through community oriented and problem-solving policing. That has been paramount to our success and we will continue to use these philosophies in an effort to bridge gaps and close the divide that now seems wider than ever.
In closing, we would like to thank Ava Lerman and all those who helped organize, each protestor, and our community as a whole. The amount of class and dignity shown by the group is something that should be emulated by all those that assemble. Your message was powerful and we heard you. Our officers were overwhelmed to be approached by the tens of hundreds who gave us hugs, others gave handshakes, and many others simply nodded. This demonstration proved once again that we are one community and we always stand together.
Gary F. Sullivan
Chief of Police