Chief Patrick Molloy’s message to the Abington Community
Chief Patrick Molloy Expresses his Sincere Condolences to the family and friends of Tyre Nichols, Calls for Peace and Reassures Abington Residents of the Department’s Commitment to the Community
On behalf of all the men and women of the Abington Township Police Department, I want to express my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Tyre Nichols. While I can never fully understand the pain and anger that his loved ones are feeling after viewing this video, I can assure you that law enforcement professionals throughout the country are appalled by this example of extreme police brutality, callousness, and failure to render aid. I can sympathize with the outrage some may be feeling after witnessing this relentless attack and murder at the hands of those who took an oath to serve and protect. What made this video even more disturbing was the complete lack of humanity displayed by the officers. The conduct of these officers is inexcusable, and all involved need to be held accountable.
Examples of police brutality in any jurisdiction have the potential to tear communities apart or otherwise uncover wounds of past racial tensions and disparities. Time and time again, the actions of a few officers in one jurisdiction adversely effects all officers in their respective agencies throughout this Nation. We are deeply concerned for those members of our minority community who are angry and afraid, and we acknowledge that anger and fear. As police officers, we can never truly understand how this impacts members of our diverse community, but I can promise you that we stand by your side and are always willing to work with you to address difficult issues. As an organization, we are committed to a rigorous officer selection process, on-going use of force and de-escalation training, state and international accreditation, strict professional standards and citizens’ complaint processes, fair and impartial policing training, and a number of other training programs sponsored jointly by the Abington Human Relations Commission and the Willow Grove NAACP. In the wake of the George Floyd murder, we established the Chief’s Advisory Board on Fair and Impartial Policing, bringing together leaders in our Willow Grove NAACP, Abington Township’s Human Relations Commission, elected officials, members of the clergy, and other leaders in civic organizations. This Board and members of my department meet quarterly to discuss the potential disparate impact of police practices on the minority community and other very difficult issues related to the use of force, procedural justice, and the need for more collaboration and transparency. Because of these programs and so many other things, I want to assure you that what happened in Memphis will not happen here in Abington.
Most people are unaware of the extreme anger and disgust that the vast majority of honorable officers feel when they witness other police officers abuse their authority, violate our code of ethics, or in this case, brutally beat and murder a young man. For the vast majority of us, this is a proud and noble profession, a vocation to serve and protect all of our fellow citizens, to be willing to sacrifice our safety to protect others, and to never discriminate based on a person’s race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
In Abington, we know that the relationship with our minority population is one that we will never take for granted. Much of our success has come from the past and present leadership and commitment of Abington Township Police Department, along with the late Presidents of the Willow Grove NAACP, Dr. Donald Clark and Ms. Valerie Ward, and our current president, Mr. Tony Davis. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel the loss of my great friend and trusted advisor, Ms. Valorie Ward. She understood, as do I, that there is so much more that unites us than that which divides us. And at times like this, we need to demonstrate the love that we have for one another and reject any rhetoric from those who would like to divide us.
Below is the Agreement between the Willow Grove NAACP and the Abington Township Police Department. Originally signed in 1998, this Agreement provides each organization with guidelines to foster better communication and collaboration. Given the challenges that we face today, Mr. Tony Davis and I wanted to share this Agreement with the Abington Community, as we look forward to strengthening this agreement in the future.
As your Chief, I am fully committed to the best practices of 21st century policing with an emphasis on building trust and legitimacy. Community-Oriented Policing for our Department is not just a Division, but it is the dominant philosophy that guides all of our operations. Unlike most police departments, we have remained committed to programs designed to mentor our youth and divert them from the criminal justice system when appropriate (PAL, DARE, School Resource Officers, Youth Aid Panel, Community Service, Youth Police Academies, Police Explorers, etc.) None of these programs would be possible without the support of our elected officials, the dedicated personnel and the army of volunteers that make up the Abington Township Police Department family.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the citizens of Abington Township for their support over the years. It truly is an honor for us to be part of this profession and to serve you. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with our residents and building trust. The Abington Township Police Department will remain committed to putting the needs of the community first.