June 9, 2020
To Our Morgan Hill Community,
Since the tragic and senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we have collectively struggled with a sense of pain, anger and a deep level of concern caused by the horrific actions that we witnessed. Our hearts are hurting for the family and friends of George Floyd and we offer them our sincere condolences. We also stand in solidarity with those who are peacefully protesting against the systemic racial injustice that continues to exist throughout our country. We understand and support the need for peaceful protest as a constitutional right. To date we have had four peaceful protests here in Morgan Hill and we acknowledge our community for this. Peaceful events such as these, with their necessary call to action and change, should be held as the gold standard above any of the acts of violence taking place in other communities. We urge our community to continue to come together in a peaceful manner.
Whereas inaction is an implied endorsement of the status quo, collaboration and partnerships can be a healing ointment for the widespread pain that so many are experiencing now and can set the conditions for an action-oriented culture. No one leader can fix the deep-seated, systemic racial injustice in America, but your Morgan Hill City Council, City Leadership Team and Police Department are committed to listening and learning. We are committed to working together with you, our community, to ensure that we have strong partnerships within the community and work together to address injustice.
We are fortunate in Morgan Hill to have a police department that is very involved in our community. The men and women of your Morgan Hill Police Department love our community and are proud to serve as a part of the community. They know that only by working in partnership can we better Morgan Hill for everyone. Your police department is committed to building upon and strengthening the relationship with the people who have entrusted them to serve.
City Leadership understands the importance of education, accountability, and training. Our police department has a robust training program that exceeds the standards set forth in California, which are among the highest in the nation—well above those of most other states.
We strive to practice true community policing in Morgan Hill as it is one of our core values. This is not a new concept to us. We have liaisons and partnerships in place with many community organizations and groups, including faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, social services, schools, and many more to support those in our underserved community. With our community partners, we work to address issues such as homelessness, mental health, suicide prevention, and substance abuse. We also partner with the Latino community to address inequities in the application of law for undocumented community members, racial profiling, and immigration status.
Positive police presence is done through many of our outreach programs such as reading to kids, playing sports, mentoring, explorer program, citizen policing academy, volunteers in policing and many more. Our partnerships within the community are far from complete: we recognize that. We are actively working on expanding these partnerships. We know that there is still room for growth and improvement.
Tuesday, June 9, we will began a conversation with our community at a special Town Hall Meeting with our Police Chief Shane Palsgrove regarding recent events and Morgan Hill Police Department’s approach to community policing, training, collaboration, and partnerships. You will also hear about Chief Palsgrove’s focus on a positive police presence and interaction. We invite you to review your police department’s policies and look forward to engaging in an on-going dialogue at this crucial juncture in our city, state, and nation.