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Police Department Statement on Death of George Floyd
 
Posted on Friday May 29, 2020
 
Cheltenham Township Police Chief John Frye issues a statement on the tragic death of George Floyd of Minneapolis, MN.
 
May 29, 2020

To the Residents of Cheltenham Township,

On behalf of the men and women of the Cheltenham Township Police Department, we offer our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. George Floyd.

What happened to Mr. Floyd is infuriating and extremely disturbing to me as both a Police Professional and a human being. This incident has angered everyone all over the country and rightfully so. I can assure you that that the overwhelming majority of police officers in this country are angered and disturbed over this incident.

I would like to let our community know what your Police Department has done and is doing to make sure something like this never happens here. It all starts with our hiring process. Our process is extremely lengthy, competitive and is comprised of a number of steps to ensure that we select the best officer, such as: written testing, physical agility testing, an initial oral exam, thorough background checks, polygraph testing, a psychological evaluation, drug screening and physical exam, staff interview, and finally an interview with the Township Manager. After an officer is hired, they have a two month Field Training Program where they are evaluated on a daily basis. Then they must complete a one-year probation period and are constantly being evaluated by their supervisors. In addition, all officers are evaluated on an annual basis.

The Cheltenham Township Police Department is an accredited police agency through the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. There are only 120 out of 1,100 Police Agencies in Pennsylvania that hold that status. That means that our department follows the best recommended policies, practices and procedures in policing. Every three years, our department has to be re-accredited to make sure we are keeping up with best practices. We were re-accredited in 2018 and will be up for another re-accreditation in 2021. 

With regards to training, our officers are extremely well-trained in a number of different areas, such as de-escalation, use of force, legal updates, first aid and CPR, autism awareness, dealing with people with special needs, instructor development, firearms qualifications and discipline, emergency vehicle driver training, active shooter, State Mandatory Training, defensive tactics, supervisory leadership, internal investigations, executive management, as well as other special training.

The Cheltenham Township Police Department has always valued Community Policing and has adopted that philosophy in our every day operations. Our officers are not just report takers. Officers are trained to be problem solvers and help people navigate through tough circumstances. Our officers take pride in seeing a situation through to a successful resolution. Our department has also initiated a number of programs to help further the trust and partnership with our community, such as: PAL program, recess programs at our Middle School that involves two officers interacting through sports, games, mentoring our kids, reading programs for our 1st graders, Open Houses and Coffee with a Cop events. Our Department was also privileged to participate in two Leadership Academy graduations at Elkins Park Middle School with the last one being this year.

Our Department has a strong relationship with Dr. Craig Browne and our local NAACP branch. I have been honored to have many meetings with Dr. Browne and we communicate regularly on ways to strengthen our relationship. More recently, we have had meetings with Dr. Browne to discuss policy for the department's purchase of body-worn cameras. We have been planning on purchasing body-worn cameras for some time now and plan to deploy them in early 2021.

The incident in Minneapolis is tragic and it may damage the strong relationships that police departments have built within their communities. I can assure you that the Cheltenham Township Police Department will continue to always be a professional police department, to treat people with dignity and respect and to work hard to maintain the great relationship that we have with our community. If we all work together, we can push forward and make changes for the better. Thank you for your continued support and know that we will be here to support you as well.

Sincerely,

John Frye
Chief of Police
 
 
Cheltenham Township   ~   8230 Old York Road   ~   Elkins Park, PA 19027
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-4:30PM
Phone: 215-887-1000   ~   Fax: 215-887-1561
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