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Lewes Residents, Business Owners and Visitors,
I write to reassure everyone in our community that the Lewes Police Department and all our members are extremely saddened by the tragic events that occurred in Minnesota. We have had and will continue to have many internal conversations about it and we condemn the actions taken against George Floyd. Those actions are NOT consistent with professional policing and our core values of Integrity, Accountability, Partnerships, Professionalism, Community and most importantly, Human Life.
The Lewes Police Department has state of the art policies that guide our actions and that reflect the most current and applicable State of Delaware and Federal laws. Our Use of Force policy addresses police officer use of force and it is closely supervised. Every use of force is reviewed at the highest level. Also by policy and our code of ethics, all Lewes Police Officers have a sworn duty to intercede in and report any use of force that is beyond reasonable. That “thin blue line” is designed to stick up for and protect those who can’t themselves and not to protect police officers who do wrong. The importance of our ability to deprive a citizen of their freedom cannot be taken lightly or for granted.
All officers in the Lewes Police Department have been trained and educated on these critical policies and I have immediately instituted a department wide review of our use of force policy, our control device policy and our first amendment assembly policy so as to reinforce their importance.
We currently have in-car cameras equipped with audio and video to capture citizen interactions and our police department facility has cameras that monitor and capture interactions with those in custody. We are committed to excellence to the community we serve and protect. We value our relationship with the community and will continue to focus our efforts on the desires of those we serve.
On behalf of the men and women of the Lewes Police Department, I want to thank the greater Lewes community for your continued support and to our state and municipal law enforcement partners and all our first responders who continue to serve with pride and dignity.
Thomas R. Spell
Chief of Police
Lewes Police Department