COLUMNS

Police chief: Department focused on improved standards

PERRY TABAK Chief
Police

I am proud to be a police officer and the Chief of the Hudson Police Department. In viewing the incident that occurred on May 25 in Minneapolis, I was shocked and saddened. This horrific act has sent a shock wave around our entire country, including Hudson, Ohio. The acts of the officers in Minneapolis do not adhere to the principles of our profession and certainly do not represent the values of the Hudson Police Department.

Many agencies, including our own, are being asked, “What are we doing to make sure things like this don’t happen here?” While I cannot speak for other departments, I can speak for the Hudson Police Department.

The Hudson Police Department meets standards established by the Ohio Collaborative which include recruitment, hiring, and use of force. The Ohio Collaborative is a 12-person panel of law enforcement experts and community leaders from throughout the state that establishes state standards for police practices and procedures.

The Hudson Police Department maintains high hiring standards to ensure that only the most ethical, capable, and honorable candidates are hired. Candidates are vetted and evaluated through a tedious process that includes physical and mental testing, a thorough background investigation, polygraph, psychological testing, drug testing, and interviews.

The Hudson Police Department has also implemented customized personality profile testing that looks for character traits that are desired for our community. These include valuing diversity, communications skills, judgement, integrity, and compassion.

This is followed by a closely monitored (FTO) Field Training Officer Program and probationary period.

In addition to our basic training and certifications, our officers have completed training in Racial Discrimination, Implicit Bias, Procedural Justice, Community Relations, De-Escalation, and Constitutional Use of Force.

All supervisors receive supervision and leadership training to ensure and enhance leadership and proper culture within our agency. City of Hudson has made a significant investment in ensuring the best practices and procedures are being consistently followed.

The Hudson Police Department implemented an integrated national policy and procedure manual system that has been approved by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies).

Use of this system allows us to keep up with legislative changes, training mandates, maintaining positive community relations, and ensuring officer and citizen safety. This nationally recognized system also includes daily training bulletins to help personnel learn to apply policy and improve their ability to make well-reasoned decisions.

We have established policies that any officer present and observing another officer using excessive force are required to intercede to prevent the excessive force (Duty to Intercede). We do not train in or authorize the use of carotid/choke holds. Our policies constantly reinforce our commitment to fair and objective community policing.

The Hudson Police Department provides a wide range of service and community involvement. No police department is perfect, but the Hudson Police Department is very proactive, not reactive, when it comes to community needs.

The items mentioned were not implemented as a reaction to any of the current incidents but have and will continue to be ingrained in the fabric of our department. The Hudson Police Department serves no one segment of our community but serves them all. I would like to thank our community for your continued support.