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Pepper Pike police chief: 'If you can’t serve with honesty, integrity, and restraint, GET ANOTHER JOB'

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 14:25:01-04

PEPPER PIKE, Ohio — Since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed at the hands of police, protests erupted nationwide calling for the end of police violence and racial injustice against people of color. During the protests, some police officers and members of the National Guard have joined peaceful protesters in kneeling, while others have recognized the pain and need to do better by those they serve, like Pepper Pike Police Chief Joe Mariola.

On Tuesday, Mariola issued a statement to his fellow officers, and in general to any officer who wears the badge, to remind them what it means to be a police officer and what must change.

"This is the mission of our department. We serve a community by building relationships and positively impacting public safety. We accept this as our solemn duty, and recognize that the vast majority of police officers across the country do as well. Regretfully, and sometimes tragically, a few officers do not, and use their authority inappropriately, at times even unlawfully. THIS MUST STOP. We hope it’s a rare few, but even one is too many.

Their actions reflect badly on all officers, but we don’t condone it, accept it, nor tolerate it, and we won’t protect police officers from the consequences of their choice to harm, rather than help.

Police leaders and prosecutors across our profession must do everything possible to eliminate unauthorized and excessive use of force, and hold accountable those officers who act in an irresponsible manner. Yes, with due process, but swiftly and surely. From patrol officers to chiefs, every police officer has a duty to protect and serve.

We are guardians; we are public servants; we are responsible professionals; and we are committed members of the same community in which we serve. Law enforcement is not just a job, not just a career where you put your time in and retire. It’s a calling for which we are purposed; we interact with others to make this world a better place… one call, one person at a time.

If you can’t serve with honesty, integrity, and restraint, GET ANOTHER JOB. You’re not worthy to wear the badge so many honest, professional men and women have earned, honor and respect."