“One year after the murder of George Floyd, we continue to mourn his death and continue to pursue a more just, equitable society. After a year marked by pain, protests, and difficult conversations, this Board remains as devoted as ever to our pursuit of social justice and to reforming a justice system that largely disadvantages African Americans and people of color.
Over the past year, I have spent countless hours talking with residents and stakeholders about the reforms we have put in place at the Camden County Police Department and why I believe police departments across the country could benefit from them. Our department has adopted one of the most progressive use of force policies in the nation, our officers are regularly trained in de-escalation techniques, and our mission is rooted in the sanctity of human life above all else. Our officers are guardians of the community, not a militarized force, and the results speak for themselves, as Camden’s crime rate remains at historic lows while relationships between the police and the community continue to improve.
We shared the nation’s sense of relief when justice was finally served last month and Derek Chauvin was convicted for his crimes, but we cannot, as a society, allow ourselves to accept the convenient, and false, answer that this was an isolated incident. The truth is that we have seen these tragedies again and again in cases like Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and others, and yet we continue to wind up in the same place time after time.
As they have for the past twelve months, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Floyd family, the Minneapolis community, and Americans across the country. As we reflect on the George Floyd and the tragic events which brought his name into our collective consciousness, let us all resolve to do our part and fight for change.”