Mike Reynolds / Courtesy photo
Fayetteville Police Chief Mike Reynolds on Friday issued a formal response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
In his letter, Reynolds called the video footage of Floyd’s death “extremely disturbing and painful” and said the actions of the officers involved are “not reflective of the mission and integrity” of the Fayetteville Police Department or the community it serves.
“We are committed to providing and safe and secure city for ALL members of our Fayetteville community,” he wrote.
Reynolds said the slogan “Protect and Serve” isn’t just a series of words marked on the department’s vehicles. “We hold these words close to our hearts, and we sincerely strive to represent our community in a professional manner each day,” he said. “Know that we grieve together, and we will get through this together.”
Reynolds was appointed to lead the department in September 2019 when former chief Greg Tabor retired after over 34 years with the city. Reynolds began his law enforcement career in Fayetteville in July 1993. He has since served in many capacities, including patrol officer, field training officer, detective, and now police chief.
The full letter from Reynolds:
To Our Community,
On behalf of the men and women of the Fayetteville Police Department, we would like to extend our prayers, sympathy, and condolences to the family of Mr. George Floyd and the entire community of Minneapolis, Minnesota as they, and our nation, mourn this tragic death. The videos that have been release of Mr. Floyd’s death are extremely disturbing and painful. Police officers should treat all citizens with dignity and respect, and we should be held to the highest standards of conduct. The death of Mr. Floyd, which has horrified our nations, is not reflective of the mission and integrity of the Fayetteville Police Department or the community we serve.
The Fayetteville Police Department works tirelessly to build and maintain trust within our community. We work with community groups, organizations, and leaders to build trust, legitimacy, and partnerships. We value and depend upon community engagement opportunities to provide open dialogue to improve our training, service delivery, and professionalism, and we will continue to work with all our partner stakeholders to ensure that we are policing with fairness, transparency, and dignity. We are committed to providing a safe and secure city for ALL members of the Fayetteville community.
The Fayetteville Police Department is an accredited law enforcement agency through both the State of Arkansas and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. We strive to maintain current policies and training. Our accreditation requires us to track and report each year in areas such as Bias Based Complaints, Bias Based Training, Recruitment and Use of Force. We work hard to recruit from our entire community to expand the diversity of our workforce and our ability to reach all community members.
The slogan “Protect and Serve” is not just words on our marked patrol vehicles. We hold these words close to our hearts, and we sincerely strive to represent our community in a professional manner each day. Know that we grieve together, and we will get through this together.
Chief of Police