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Open letter from Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris and City Administrator Scott Derickson regarding city's relationship with police department, emergency services and community members

The recent events in Minneapolis have reignited concerns about relationships between the police and communities nationwide.

The video of George Floyd's arrest and subsequent death is revolting and deeply disturbing.

COURTESY PHOTO - Woodburn Chief of Police Jim Ferraris, Woodburn Independent - Opinion Police department, city staff working to provide services, help community stay safe during governor's executive order City of Woodburn is ready to support community during COVID-19 crisisThe City of Woodburn believes that it is our responsibility to talk about these events, ask the hard questions and to reflect on our own values and efforts to provide a Police Department consistent with the values and expectations of our community. Our work to build an inclusive community public safety program that reflects the diversity and values of our community, founded on honest community relationships, is never-ending. This is an expectation of the city council, the city administrator, and the police chief.

On behalf of the fine men and women of the Woodburn Police Department, we want our community to know that our core values are: Integrity, Courage, Pride, Respect, Accountability and Service. Each member of our Police Department is expected to understand these values and reflect their meaning in their day-to-day work.

COURTESY PHOTO - Woodburn City Administrator Scott Derickson, Woodburn Independent - Opinion Police department, city staff working to provide services, help community stay safe during governor's executive order City of Woodburn is ready to support community during COVID-19 crisisOur screening for new police officer recruits is rigorous. If you are a bigot, racist or a bully, then you will not work for the City of Woodburn. Continuous training is also a top priority, including the proper use of force, communication skills, and de-escalation techniques. No police officer has ever been trained to kneel onto anyone's neck. And our police officers are required to intervene if they see another police officer acting in a dangerous manner or behaving improperly.

Having been involved in local Oregon local government for over 70 years combined, we have seen our share of tragedy and improper policing. We understand the damage that poor leadership, misaligned organizational culture, and poor training can do to our community, our police department, and to individual police officers. We know the trust and support of our community is not to be taken for granted, and when issues do arise, we deal with them.

Public safety is an honorable and difficult profession, and we are proud of the men and women who serve and protect Woodburn day-in and day-out. Every day we strive to improve community relationships, transparency and accountability and greatly appreciate your support.

Scott Derickson is the city administator of Woodburn; Jim Ferraris is the city's Chief of Police.


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