The following statement may be attributed to Police Chief Dennis McDaniel of the Johnston, Iowa Police Department.
On behalf of the men and women who honorably serve the City of Johnston in the police department, we offer our heartfelt sympathies to the family and loved ones of Tyre Nichols. The footage released today of his tragic death is disturbing to the members of this organization and all in our community who have viewed it. The death of Mr. Nichols at the hands of police officers, who are employed to serve and protect their community, is appalling and defenseless.
A police department’s primary mission in society is to aid the public good, ensure the safety and security of a community, represent a justice system that is fair and equitable, and honorably serve the citizens they are sworn to protect. That has not occurred in this instance in Memphis. The individuals involved have been rightly terminated and criminally charged for their actions and incomprehensible decision-making. Those involved are a disgrace to the law enforcement profession and, unfortunately, stain the image of police across this country.
To that end, I want to reassure this community the Johnston Police Department (JPD) remains focused on the highest standards in which we train and administratively review each use of force encounter. Here are just a few measures we take to maximize the knowledge, skills and abilities of our officers:
- Robust regulatory policy and training standards related to all uses of force – deadly and non-deadly, and associated lethal and less-lethal weapons platforms (please visit JPD Policy | Johnston, IA - Official Website (cityofjohnston.com) to review this policy).
- In addition to regulatory practices, the JPD’s policy includes full compliance with state and federal laws associated with chokeholds and neck restraints, as well as model best practices such as: the duty to intervene, duty to render medical aid, duty to report; and mandates scenario-based and simulation training and testing to build officers’ advanced judgment, develops complex decision-making skills, and simulates real-world situations that require proper split-second discretion.
- Employ Eric Daigle of Daigle Law Group as a policy and legal consultant, who is one of the foremost nationally recognized system-matter-experts in the area of use of force.
- Annually send four members of the department’s supervisory team to a multi-day use of force summit to receive updated case law, ensure procedural best practices, and train on hazard/threat mitigation, emerging trends, and the science associated with use of force.
- Develop and train in-house instructors and trainers certified by the State of Iowa and other industry leaders from across the country to provide monthly training with staff in developmental areas such as use of force, defensive tactics, de-escalation, combat casualty care, emotional intelligence, and many other practical law enforcement skills.
- Routinely conduct after-action reviews and discussions with officers involved in use of force incidents to enhance learning, cement a culture of accountability, and reinforce skills proficiencies based upon real-world incidents.
The Johnston Police Department places our highest value and priority on building successful, collaborative relationships with our community partners and stakeholders. We understand that the ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public trust and open dialogue. This is why this organization's men and women strive daily to demonstrate and reinforce their commitment to our core values of Honor – Protection – Service.
Together, as we move forward from this most recent and inexplainable tragic incident, it is vital to the success of this organization that we continue to embrace the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police (Sir Robert Peel). It is this agency’s public pledge to continue to demonstrate our commitment to JPD’s Creed of Honor:
“I am a representative of the Johnston Police Department and American Law Enforcement as a whole. As such, my actions will reflect upon my fellow brothers and sisters just as their actions reflect upon me.
I shall never betray my badge, my integrity, my department, nor the trust of the public and vow to hold my brethren to this creed.
My values will focus on honesty, accountability, leading by example, and the impartial upholding of the law.
I proudly serve by choice and will do so with dedication, honor and courage.”