******For Immediate Release******
Incident: A message from Chief Billy Grogan
Date: June 2, 2020
When I first watched the George Floyd video, I was sickened by what I saw. The conduct by all of the officers involved was unacceptable. Both the officer who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck as well as the officers who failed to intervene should be held accountable. Law enforcement leaders across the country have universally condemned the actions of these officers.
I also believe in the right of peaceful protesters to stand up against injustice. As I write these words, a peaceful protest is happening in front of the Dunwoody Police Department. Officers from our department have interacted with the organizers and protesters to let them know we stand with them against police brutality and racism in any form.
I can assure our citizens that the Dunwoody Police Department values the lives of all people and do not take our oath and the responsibilities we have as police officers and as human beings lightly. Our culture is one of collaboration, partnerships and service.
All Dunwoody officers drive cars equipped with in-car cameras. Additionally, our officers have been utilizing body worn cameras for over five years. Officers are required to activate their body worn cameras whenever they interact with the public on a call for service. Body worn camera footage plays a key role in reviewing all complaints or Use of Force incidents.
When there is a police Use of Force incident in Dunwoody, that force has six layers of independent review. The review is conducted by the shift Sergeant, shift Lieutenant, Division Major, Use of Force expert, Deputy Chief of Police and ultimately myself. As part of this review process, all body worn camera video from all officers involved are reviewed as well as all associated reports.
In 2019, our department had 103 Uses of Force in 70 different incidents. To put this
in its proper perspective, force was used in only 3.13% of the 2,201 arrests made.
Although force is rarely applied, it is a high-risk activity, both for the officer as well as
the offender. For that reason, we developed our Use of Force policy based on best
practices where the first line states, “It is the policy of this department to value and
preserve human life.” We train our officers on our policy and conduct reviews
In addition, each officer in our department is required to complete Use of Force and
De-escalation training each year as mandated by the State of Georgia. We also
conduct firearms training twice a year, where we use scenario-based training.
In many cases, our Use of Force incidents involve someone in a mental health crisis.
As a result, the Dunwoody Police Department joined the International Association of
Chiefs of Police (IACP) One Mind Campaign and completed the pledge. We have
partnered with a community mental health organization; we have a strong policy
which guides our officers’ actions; 100% of our officers have been trained in Mental
Health First-Aid and over 50% of our officers have attended Crisis Intervention
The death of George Floyd was tragic. I join with the staff of my department, our
community, law enforcement leaders from across the country and everyone across the United States in condemning the actions of these officers.
While I applaud the peaceful protesters standing outside our department today, I must
condemn those looters and rioters who are using the tragic death of George Floyd as
an opportunity to wreak havoc in many communities across our country. The
destruction and burning of buildings, the looting of property and the violence against
the police and innocent civilians must stop. I believe the majority of people who are
outraged by what happened in Minneapolis want to help change things for the better
and are peaceful protesters. Yet, their just cause is being hijacked by these looters and rioters.
In my experience, the majority of police officers are dedicated professionals who
come to work every day with the right attitude and serve their communities well. Most
police officers today are well trained and have the most education in history, but they
have one of the most difficult and challenging jobs ever.
There are occasions where police officers must use force during an arrest. In these
cases, it is important for officers to be properly prepared so they can provide the
appropriate response and level of force. This preparation can be accomplished by
making sure we have clear policies that follow best practices and the law; by providing the best scenario-based training possible; and by engaging with all members of our community frequently in meaningful and productive ways. When mistakes occur, it is our duty to acknowledge them, learn from them, and work hand-in-hand with the community to make sure these mistakes are not repeated.
I would invite our citizens to attend a future Citizens Police Academy, where you can
get an inside look at our Use of Force training as well as all facets of our operations.
We stand with the citizens of Dunwoody and peaceful protesters everywhere. We ask
that you stand with us.
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For more information, contact Public Information Officer Sgt. Robert Parsons
Dunwoody Police Department – 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338
P: 678-382-6900 - F: 770-396-4655 - dunwoodypolice.com
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