Regional Law Enforcement De-Escalation Philosophy

June 9, 2020

The San Diego County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association has released their de-escalation “philosophy,” on which they claim to have been working for a year.  According to CBS-8, that philosophy is:

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We find this document to be profoundly tone-deaf and utterly inadequate. This document seems to have been prepared inside an echo chamber of highly paid law enforcement officials.  Where was the input from the taxpaying public?

All ages and ethnicities are united in outrage over police violence, appearing daily in the streets.  They will continue to be united in outrage until we see policies of transparency, accountability and a true spirit of public service.

Where in this document is it affirmed that the purpose of law enforcement is to protect and to serve, not to dominate and control?

Where in this document are the policies and procedures needed to reign in the abuse, violence, and death that so regularly occur in citizen interactions with law enforcement?

The San Diego County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association needs to:

  • Apologize for and withdraw this completely inadequate document that does nothing to restore the public’s trust and faith.  
  • Immediately sit down with the individuals and communities who have suffered trauma and abuse, and hear what they have to say.
  • Produce detailed, meaningful and practical policies and procedures, with transparent reporting and full accountability.  
  • Move swiftly and firmly to build this new spirit of service and protection into their departments.  
  • Remove officers who will not change, rather than allow them to corrupt another generation of recruits with their aggression and violence.

Only then will citizens trust them again.  

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch