Police Commissioner Letter
On May 28, 2020 Police Commissioner Peter Volkmann issued the following statement.
To the Citizens of Hudson,
As Police Commissioner of the City of Hudson, I am responsible to the citizens of Hudson as well as to the officers of Hudson Police Department. The recent event in Minneapolis in which every person was able to witness the death of a person in police custody was shocking to say the least. The slow response of police transparency is tragic and has caused a collective conscious reevaluation of police responsibilities in training and internal investigations in their communities and within their police agencies. I have always strived to be a better cop, better leader, and better person. While I have not been perfect and have personally made mistakes in my career, I have always separated between a "mistake of the head" and a "mistake of the heart". Supervision and training can retrain "mistakes of the head", but "mistakes of the heart" cannot be retrained. "Mistakes of the heart" is a human deficiency that is ingrained forever in a person due to life experiences. Policing, whether with the community, or within the agency, is about confrontation and dealing with issues that may be uncomfortable in nature.
This Minneapolis situation has made America uncomfortable.
Let me begin this uncomfortable conversation on behalf of Hudson Police. The arrest tactics utilized in Minneapolis has never and will never be an aspect of Hudson Police training nor tolerated if utilized as an arrest tactic by any officer. Hudson Police has been trained and will continue to be trained on proper use of force techniques. Our guidelines are clear and concise on the use of force standards to follow. As a NYS accredited police agency, our policies and training standards have been recognized by NYS to be of high standards. Any type of complaint on an officer will be fully investigated and properly resolved. As Police Commissioner, I will take professional responsibility for all officers' actions within Hudson Police. I have confidence in their training standards, supervision, and abilities when utilizing use of force. If there is an identified issue or mistake, we will as an agency investigate how that issue happened and evaluate the best way to correct the issue. Solutions are the result of first acknowledging there is a problem. Community conversations lead to community solutions. If a police agency cannot have uncomfortable conversations with community problems, whether perceived or real, those problems will only get worse. I will let the community know that Hudson Police has a body camera program in place for almost a year. Every on-duty patrol officer wears a body camera. Officers are trained to record any use of force incident. The audio and video recordings provide transparency to our community. This month we will examine the program for any needed immediate adjustments or enhancements.
As an agency, Hudson Police will evaluate our community policing efforts within the next month. We will strive to be better in communicating with our community, collaborating with other city departments and agencies to serve Hudson, and provide a real sense of service to our community problems. We all can take responsibility to do better for Hudson.
One of my many responsibilities as Police Commissioner is to have Hudson Police available for conversations with the community. Once the COVID-19 emergency declaration is lifted, I will invite the community to tour our police facility. The police facility belongs to the citizens of Hudson and everyone should have an opportunity to see the facility. We can have neighborly conversations.
Commissioner Peter Volkmann