Department News

Chief Howe comments on the death of George Floyd

Police Chief Richard D. Howe denounces the actions of the four police officers in Minneapolis that resulted in the death of George Floyd last week.

The incident involving Minneapolis Police needs to be openly talked about not just within our individual departments, but in law enforcement and society in general. We need to take responsibility and acknowledge what it was: an unnecessary, violent and inexcusable use of excessive force, which in just a matter of minutes destroyed good faith with the public that takes years or even generations to build.

I stand with my fellow police chiefs and denounce the actions of these four officers in Minneapolis, and join all peaceful protesters and concerned citizens in calling for an end to racism and police brutality. I also thank the vast majority of police officers who put their life on the line everyday, and do it professionally and ethically.

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, representing Police Chiefs in all 351 cities and towns and most college campuses has this week denounced the egregious actions taken by four members of the Minneapolis Police Department, whether by action or inaction, that resulted in the death of George Floyd on May 25. Massachusetts Police Officers have thoroughly embraced the six pillars of the principles embodied in the final report of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and remain committed to professional conduct, democratic policing and procedural justice for all people.

The methods used by these few officers are not in compliance with training standards provided by the Massachusetts Police Training Council, nor consistent with any training Tyngsborough Police Officers receive.

Police officers take a solemn oath to defend human life, and the Tyngsborough Police Department frequently trains its members on the safest and most modern and appropriate tactics. These training sessions include crucial topics such as de-escalation techniques, mental health, diversity and inclusion, fair and impartial policing, procedural justice and police legitimacy.

The need for ethical behavior by each of us which is beyond reproach, cannot be understated. We each have a responsibility to lead the charge on this, and send a clear message to our community: We are compassionate professionals who will work hard to understand cultural differences and embrace them, which in turn will create new cultural bonds. Most importantly, we need to be models in our community for unimpeachable behavior.

We are extremely fortunate to be part of a community in Tyngsborough that supports us and we want them to know that we are wholly dedicated to the safety and well being of all our residents. We will work every day to maintain that trust, as our profession is nothing without it.

Chief Richard D. Howe