Messages from the Council Chair

Metro Transit Police are committed to excellence

April 2016

Metro Transit Police officer Sgt. David Hutchinson was on patrol when he saw a little boy crying next to a broken bicycle.  He went over to ask what was wrong and the boy said he was trying to get his bike to the bike shop to get it repaired. 
Council Chair Adam DuininckOne look at the bike was all it took to prove that the bike was beyond repair, but Sgt. Hutchinson loaded the boy and his bike and took him to the local bike shop.  Once there, he purchased a used bike for the boy with his own money.  After that, he took the boy and the new bike home, “In case his mother had any questions.”
That was just one of the stories I heard when I attended the MTPD’s annual awards ceremony earlier this month.  As I listened to story after story of our officers going above and beyond, I felt proud. 
Chief John Harrington has always cited the “Gold Standard” of policing – a police force that reflects the community it serves. Most of the time he’s referring to diversity on the force when he brings up the standard, and his work there is laudable.  Since he came on board in 2011 the Chief has expanded the number of officers from communities of color from 5 percent to 30 percent.  We are the only department in the state with five officers of Somali descent.
But the Gold Standard of policing isn’t just a reflection of the way our community looks, it’s a reflection of how our officers act.  Other officers were honored for activities ranging from running into a burning building to save a hearing-impaired person who couldn’t hear their fire alarm, to apprehending dangerous suspects, to breaking records for fare compliance checks. 
Our region is one of the best places to live in the nation because the people who live here are involved in their communities and willing to go the extra mile for one another, certainly a quality you find in the men and women who work for the MTPD.
The commitment to excellence at the MTPD is continuing as officers receive new training, such as learning a second language so they can better communicate with new Americans. They are also receiving additional training on racial bias and equity in policing.
Working in law enforcement has never been more complex and heavily scrutinized than it is today. MTPD listens carefully to its critics, evaluates their claims and then works to do better.  Good work Chief, and thanks to the men and women on your team.