Thomasville Police speaks out on building trust and legitimacy

Thomasville Police speaks out on building trust and legitimacy

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - The death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis sparked days of protests and violence.

On Friday, the Thomasville Police Department wanted the community to know their officers work on developing public trust.

Public Information Officer Crystal Parker told us in light of this tragedy, now is a good time to revisit the subject of procedural justice.

The department also posted on their Facebook page about the four pillars of procedural justice, which are voice, neutrality, respect, and trustworthiness.

“Procedural justice comes down to fairness. Them understanding and believing that we are being fair and we are being just,” said Parker.

The Thomasville Police Department said they strive to maintain each of these on the job every day.

Corporal Crystal Parker, PIO
Corporal Crystal Parker, PIO (Source: WALB)

“They might not agree with being pulled over for whatever the infraction was, but if they at least know that they’re being treated fairly in the situation, then they’re still more inclined to recognize that they were treated the way that they should have been,” Corporal Parker told us.

She said they train throughout the year on a variety of different topics, including the use of force and annual reviews of the code of ethics.

“The really important thing to remember here is that when the resistance stops when the subject’s in custody, the force also needs to stop,” said Corporal Parker.

Certain crimes and offenses require certain responses.

“If we’re on a manhunt for somebody who we know has hurt other people, we’re going into this know that this person has been violent towards other people. If we’re going looking for somebody who missed a court date or something, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have the potential to offer danger to law enforcement, but it’s a much less severe offense,” said Corporal Parker.

At the end of the day, she said what they’ve learned in training comes down to what type of department they want to be.

“We just want to continue to build relationships so we understand each other better so that we can reduce fear and increase understanding. We’re here to protect and to serve," Corporal Parker told us.

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