During the past several days, tensions and conflicts have been rising throughout the country because of an incident that occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota that resulted in the death of an African American citizen while in police custody. We understand and support our citizens’ right to peacefully protest. This is something that the Morgantown Police Department takes very seriously, and we will always strive to protect the rights of everyone.
The Morgantown Police Department would like to let the citizens know some of the steps that are taken to try and prevent a similar incident from occurring here. Because of the strict adherence to policy, procedure and law, the department conducts annual training for all personnel, which was recently completed. The annual training includes de-escalation and anti-bias training. Further, every use of force is reviewed by supervisory officers, staff officers and subject matter experts. Each use of force is independently evaluated to ensure that it complies with policy, training, and law. If an officer is found to have violated any of those three elements, then depending upon the situation and appropriateness, retraining or disciplinary action up to and including termination may result in addition to prosecution if appropriate.
Morgantown police officers are issued body cameras which are also reviewed as part of a use of force evaluation. Additionally, supervisors are charged with randomly checking those videos to ensure that officers are professional, adhering to policy, procedure, and law during the performance of their duties. The Morgantown Police Department strives to protect the rights of all citizens and enforce the law equally and justly to all.