Open Forum – SF Chronicle S.F. police invites public to take step in their shoes By Martin Halloran – July 28, 2015 This has been a trying year for police officers and communities across the country as incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York, Baltimore, Texas and elsewhere have sparked national debate about police conduct. We have had our own struggles in San Francisco, where I publicly condemned seven San Francisco police officers involved in a text messaging scandal. It is easy, however, to make broad generalizations about policing but more challenging to appreciate the difficult situations our officers face daily. The San Francisco Police Officers Association strives for greater transparency and accountability to the public we serve. Our hope is to develop a closer working relationship between you and the men and women who take an oath to keep you safe. To that end we invite you to learn firsthand more about who we are. Come learn how we train our officers — how they preparre, the psychological testing they must endure — before wearing a baadge, walking a beat, or holding a weapon. We take our profession very seriously. And while we understand the frustrations and visceral emotions around crime and the perception of racial profiling, we want the public to better understand our approach. We are part of the community we serve. Police officers are asked to respond when individuals find themselves in danger and have nowhere else to turn. When we are called to a crime scene, we look for perpetrators harming the innocent, without consideration for skin color, gender, age or religion. At the same time, please remember that our officers, like the criminals we apprehend, are entitled to representation and due process under law. The San Francisco Police Officers Association offers that service unapologetically. The incidents that have provoked a nationwide conversation about race and policing underscore the need for thoughtful debate and open communication about the relationship between law enforcement and community. We cannot resolve these issues without discussion. To begin that discussion, the association invited 55 members of the press to participate in our training regimen at the Community Police Academy: to hear from officers who have been in the line of fire and to participate in video simulations testing the stressful split-second decisions we are forced to make under tremendous pressure. Only five people responded. So now I invite you to do the same. Apply to join our Community Police Academy. Learn how we train officers to respond to crises, to de-escalate situations before they become violent, and to determine the occasional need for force to protect the innocent. I was elected to represent more than 2,100 active San Francisco police officers who dedicate their lives to keeping our city safe. We want you to come meet us, and then take a step in our shoes. Martin Halloran is the president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. Get involved Apply to join the Community Police Academy at www.sfpoa.org/engage.
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SF Chronicle S.F. police invites public to take step in their shoes
July 29, 2015 by sunnysideassociation