Watching the heartbreaking death of George Floyd through the media was extremely difficult.
The members of our Police Department, like you, cannot comprehend why this happened. The actions of this officer go against human decency and the policy, practice and training of our department and all police departments in New York State. His death should never have happened. As a country founded on the rule of law, we believe, that in the end, justice must prevail and will be served.
We are outraged by this event and understand and respect those who choose to peacefully protest. We must also work together through this very difficult situation with open and honest dialogue. Let’s not diminish the death of George Floyd and the criminal justice issues we face by engaging in acts of cruelty and division.
As the chief of police, I hope you all feel that you are able to communicate with the members of our department and, of equal importance, directly with me. The Shelter Island Police Department has and will continue to work tirelessly to develop, enhance, and open up lines of communications with everyone. Each one of us is available to you and we hope you reach out to us whenever there is a concern.
Many of the East End chiefs of police are sharing similar communications to the local communities they serve. We must all be in this together to effect lasting change.
Please recognize that the Shelter Island Police Department is here to serve and protect all people in our community and on our island.
JAMES J. READ
Chief of Police, Town of Shelter Island