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Below is a statement from Chief of Police, Tony DeGiusti, regarding the recent shootings in Dallas, Texas. This message was addressed to staff of the Ypsilanti Police Department.
As I write this, I am saddened and shocked by the cowardly attack that took place in Dallas last night. These senseless killings of law enforcement officers defies all logic and understanding that should go along with a civilized society. The job of a peace officers is already extremely difficult and tragedies like those faced in Dallas make it even harder. While the loss of our colleagues may evoke strong emotions in each of you as it has me, it is my hope that this will not broaden the gap between us and those in our own community. It is important now, more than ever, to strengthen the relationships that we have and foster relationships where they are lacking. We must continue our efforts in making the Police Department part of the community so that when people talk about "us against them" what they will mean is the community, including the police, together against those that would bring harm and discord.
In these trying times we need to bear in mind that what occurred in Dallas last night is not representative of how our nation and more importantly our community feel about you in law enforcement. We are the Guardians of our community. We are depended upon to make sure people are safe and when the unthinkable happens in their lives we are the ones looked to for hope, justice and support. That is what you all do every day at great personal risk and sacrifice. I am proud of the job that each of you do, our organization and profession as a whole. Below is a quote from a Dallas newspaper. I think it speaks volumes about the character and dedication of the officers last night. The Dallas Morning News writes in an editorial, "A peaceful protest in downtown Dallas...morphed into a horrific sniper ambush on the men and women sworn to protect them. These were police officers who had earlier posed for photos with the demonstrators, shaken their hands and provided security for their rally. Throughout the evening, mutual respect was visible between the two groups. These were the police officers who, when shooting broke out from high above them, tried to make sure protesters got out of harm's way. ... We must wake up and unite. If we lead with anger, nobody wins."
As we move forward please be supportive of each other. Make sure that you stay sharp and attentive while on-duty and back each other up. This is a time to come together and take care of each other.
The wearing of mourning bands is authorized through the last officers funeral service. Please keep the officers from the Dallas law enforcement community in your thoughts and prayers as they mourn their loss.
Tony DeGiustiChief of PoliceCity of Ypsilanti Police Department