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C.O. police unions ‘invite difficult conversations’ on race, policing practices

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office patrol car 2020
KTVZ file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In a rare joint statement to the public, five unions representing police officers and sheriff's deputies across Deschutes County said Wednesday they are "absolutely committed to engaging in the tough conversations about race and police practices."

Here is their letter, in full:

"Dear Deschutes County:

"The men and women of the Bend Police, Redmond Police, Sunriver Police, Deschutes County Sheriff and Black Butte Police Associations are proud public servants who come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, races, genders, and life experiences. Despite such different backgrounds, we are bound by a common oath: to protect and serve our communities. These aren’t merely words; they are a creed that is ingrained in our moral fabric that pushes us to do our best to serve the public.

"We see our nation and local communities hurting after the incomprehensible tragedy in Minneapolis, and the other tragic cases that have come before this. We see and hear the cries of our fellow community members, especially those who come from communities of color.

"As policing professionals, we are absolutely committed to engaging in the tough conversations about race and policing practices. We invite those difficult conversations. We ask that our police professionals are part of those conversations. We want to be part of the solution.

On Monday, District Attorney John Hummel issued a press release calling for a variety of police reforms. Reform is not a bad word. Rather, it’s a word that signals that it’s time to find a better way to progress. We look forward to our discussions with DA Hummel and our police executives regarding these topics.

"More importantly, we look forward to discussions with our communities – especially our communities of color – about how we can work together to ensure that we are providing the very best policing services in Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, Black Butte and Deschutes County. We are committed to bettering our communities.

"We are committed to bettering policing policies and practices. We are committed to serving the public with honor and integrity. We are committed to helping our cities, our state, and our nation heal and improve.

"With Respect,

Bend Police Association

Redmond Police Officers Association

Sunriver Police Officers Association

Deschutes County Sheriff Employee Association

Black Butte Police Association"

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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