Message from KU Chief of Police John Dillon on Recent National Events
Recent events in Minnesota and around our nation have captured the attention of the world, and law enforcement officers and leaders have been asked for their input on what has occurred. As Kutztown University’s chief of police, I would like to offer my thoughts.
I have been a police officer for more than 38 years, and in that time, I have never been instructed to kneel on anyone’s neck intentionally or as a method of control. I am both shocked and saddened by what I viewed and am at a loss to explain what I watched, as there is no possible excuse for what occurred. All officers take an oath/affirmation to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to uphold, obey and enforce the law without consideration of a person’s race, color, sex, religious creed, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, handicap or disability.
Our officers at Kutztown University are trained in Use of Force and we have written policies which outline how we are to act based upon the incident that is occurring. Our officers are required to file a separate Use of Force Report, each time that they use physical force as part of their job. Unlike other agencies that only require the report for serious incidents such as the discharge of a weapon, we document all instances to include the handcuffing of a person. These reports are reviewed by both a subject matter expert/instructor within the agency and by command staff to ensure that our policies are being followed, and that we are only using the minimal force necessary to accomplish what we must do.
Our officers have experienced bias training, diversity training and inclusion training offered by various presenters such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission; and through private contracted providers. We have been fortunate to have had training with experts, such as Major Benjamin Brooks (PSP Ret.). Major Brooks was a leader and key developmental officer of the Pennsylvania State Police Diversity Program, and he is also a graduate of Kutztown University. Major Brooks is a past president of our Alumni Association, and we value his knowledge and commitment to Kutztown University.
As we all grieve over the loss of Mr. Floyd, we need to come together and make our community equally safe for all of its members. KU Public Safety and Police Services is committed to being a devoted partner in this endeavor.
To learn more about our commitment to diversity, visit the KU Bias Response Task Force webpage at www.kutztown.edu/biasresponse.
Chief of Police
Kutztown University Public Safety and Police Services