We are humble in our service to the entire East Bay Community we serve. The East Bay Regional Park District’s Vision is to ensure the safety and health of park users. The Park District has women and men in uniform who respectfully work to ensure our parks are safe and accessible to all.
On behalf of the sworn officers representing the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department, we condemn the despicable, abusive actions and inaction by the officers in Minneapolis. What happened to Mr. Floyd is abhorrent, and we extend our condolences to the Floyd Family and grieve with them in the wrongful death at the hands of people who swore an oath to protect the community. We also condemn all unlawful acts committed against protestors and police officers in the past week.
This tragedy underscores the absolute necessity that police agencies across the nation must take action to ensure all members of our communities are treated with equal justice when our sworn women and men in uniform perform their public safety duties. Now is the time we must continue to build and foster relationships with all communities, especially with Black Americans. Now is the time to be resolute in demanding that nothing short of legitimate and lawful actions are acceptable; the law enforcement profession can accept nothing less.
I thank all members of EBRPD’s Public Safety Division for their steadfast professionalism as law enforcement representatives. The COVID-19 health pandemic, economic challenges, and wildfire season also weigh heavily in our minds. I have proudly watched our Officers and Command Staff act with compassion and resilience during some of the most stressful times I have experienced during my 30-year career. Our public safety officers are professionals and empathetic. Our Officers uphold the highest standards as required of an accredited agency.
The East Bay Regional Park District Police Department is an accredited agency through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). We are required to comply with the best business practices in law enforcement as set forth by organizations such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The Police Department’s last assessment, for its 3rd reaccreditation, was completed in May 2020.
These are some of the most challenging times our community has experienced in generations. As a professional public safety division, we must continue to assess, grow, and adapt to meet the needs of the community that our parks and trails are safe for all users. We are listening and know we all can do better. We also ask for input on how we can better serve you. In hearing the community, effective immediately, I have prohibited the use of the carotid restraint technique by all East Bay Regional Park District Police Officers and we will review all of our policing practices going forward.
Finally, I pledge the East Bay Regional Park District will do what is necessary to continue the trust of the 33 communities we serve. We are in this together.
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor