Over the past several weeks, we have all sought ways to express our sadness and outrage over the tragic death of George Floyd. This put a glaring spotlight on the presence of bad police officers among our ranks, making the “good” cops more determined to extract them from our departments. We can also see this as a moment where we can acknowledge all types of prejudice and bigotry – systemic and/or individual. Many in our community have experienced or felt bigotry and injustice, whether it is against the LGBTQ community, a race, a religion, a disability, or a gender. Just because we seem insulated as a small, rural community does not mean we are immune.
As a Law Enforcement Organization, the Arnaudville Police Department is committed to being part of the conversation, and acting in a way that reflects a culture based on respect, dignity, and inclusion. As Chief of Police, I am announcing a renewed commitment to the town of Arnaudville that our community engagement policies will be reviewed, specifically our "use of force" policies. As a department that embraces diversity, our appraisal will serve to ensure that our policies align with our values as a department. We vow to listen and learn from those who feel marginalized, victimized or mistreated. We don’t have all the answers, but we are listening and learning.
This is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and by extension, has the potential to be a critical moment in Arnaudville’s history. How we engage and respond will either send a message that we “get it”, or we don’t.
Our publicly shared position statement can be the spark that ignites systemic change, but we acknowledge that words will not solve the problem. I challenge each person, each business owner or organization, each municipality and official to appraise their core values and attitudes, and their practices on community relations, racial and other “minority” interactions. There should be no tolerance for employees that engage in bias, prejudice, or unequal treatment of citizens, customers or co-workers; nor an employer or business that promotes a culture of bigotry.
The Arnaudville Police Department will continue to strive to ensure that Arnaudville is a safe place to live, work and learn for all of our residents, and we vow to strengthen our communication with our minority communities to be sure that this is the reality for all.
The Arnaudville Police Department is committed to the safety of all residents and visitors and to that end, will increase and expand training. We will take advantage of, and offer workshops that include de-escalation techniques, implicit bias and anti-bias training – for police officers and any town staff that want the training to incorporate these important principles into the delivery of critical services.
The Arnaudville Police Department rejects racism, prejudice and bigotry, and are committed to working together with the community for equity through understanding, compassion, and opportunity.
- Eddy J. LeCompte
Chief of Police – Arnaudville, Louisiana