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Mayor's Messages

6/5/2020 - Statement on WPPD's "Use of Force" Policy

Dear Woodland Park Residents:

As our nation morns the loss of George Floyd after the horrific and unspeakable acts of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it is incumbent upon us all to call out this violent act of racism.

This officer swore an oath to serve and protect. Not only did he break that oath, but he took an innocent life while doing so.
There is no doubt that there is racial inequality in our country. There is inadequacy in our criminal justice system. These things cannot be ignored, or worse, accepted. They can’t be forgotten in a few weeks and pushed aside by the next thing capturing our attention. It is our duty as Americans to stand up and make a fundamental change so we never see another death like George Floyd.

That said, in Woodland Park, we believe in action and transparency, not just words.

In response to President Barack Obama’s call yesterday for Mayors throughout the nation to review “Use of Force” policies with their Police Departments, the public should be aware that the Woodland Park Police Department has, and continues to adopt, the “Use of Force and Bias-Based Policing” policies issued by the New Jersey Attorney General.

These policies can be found on our website (above the Department photo) here.

It should further be noted that the Woodland Park Police Department was Accredited through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Accreditation program, in June of 2018, following a rigorous review process. As part of that accreditation, all policies and procedures were revised and updated to today’s standards. Those policies must continue to be met in order to maintain our Accreditation. All of our Police Officers are trained and tested on Use of Force twice-a-year and are required to fulfill mandatory Cultural Diversity training provided through the CLEAR Institute. Our Police Department will not stand for any infractions by Officers regarding violations of these polices.

The Woodland Park Police Department stands for justice and fairness in our community and reflects the population they serve.

Together, as community leaders, law enforcement officers and as a diverse community we believe in protecting the health, safety and welfare of everyone and fully denounce abusive behavior and racism in our society.

Keith Kazmark