A Message in Support of Anti-Racism and against Police Violence

Posted on 3/30/21 7:22 PM

Colleagues,

It was a little over 10 months ago when we watched the murder of George Floyd. As a career police officer, my heart sank—as it has so many times before—for George Floyd and others before him who were victims of violence involving police officers.

Now, George Floyd's murder trial is underway.

As we stated publicly last May, the IUP Department of Public Safety and University Police continue to take a firm stand against racism and bias in any form.

Anti-bias and inclusion continue to play a key role in required IUP police officer training. However, the events of May 25, 2020, prove that every police department must do more.

The IUP police department has since launched a strategic training initiative of anti-racism, anti-bias, and inclusion training. This involves hundreds of hours of training, both face-to-face and virtual, as well as mandatory reading assignments related to implicit bias and inclusion. In addition, we have reviewed and revised our training standards in areas of use of force and laws of arrest and have initiated a monthly roll call policy review to ensure every IUP police officer maintains awareness and compliance with department policy.

This past summer and spring semester I was proud to represent the Department in a dialogue with students about policing and the issue of bias. We welcome student comments and will continue to be part of the discussion of how to become even stronger in our anti-racism efforts.

We stand committed to helping the IUP community to remain strong and vibrant, a place without fear of discrimination and racism and bias, where everyone can enjoy a safe and comfortable place to live, learn, and work. We know that this is a community effort, that everyone is responsible for making a commitment against racism and discrimination and promoting anti-racism and anti-bias values and behaviors. Every member of the IUP Department of Public Safety and University Police has made this commitment; individually and as a Department, we will continue to say, “not on our watch.”

No one knows what the outcome of this week's trial will be. We pray justice will be served.

Regardless of what transpires in Minnesota, we will continue to focus on our commitment to being a Department that demonstrates and promotes anti-racism, anti-bias, and anti-discrimination in our actions and our attitudes.

Sincerely,

Joe Clement
Interim Director of Public Safety
Chief of Police