Message from Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney

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Understandably, many questions and concerns regarding policing have emerged following the murder of Mr. George Floyd. As a result, I have decided to issue this open letter to our community. The Grand Prairie Police Department (GPPD) shares the outrage that a person wearing a police uniform, who took an oath to protect and serve, committed such a heinous act. Although police officers across the country wear similar uniforms, each department is often unique in its delivery of service to its community. While we all work together for answers, solutions, and opportunities for improvement, I ask that you also evaluate your local police department on its own merits. Back in 2011, under the leadership of then Chief Steve Dye, GPPD rebooted and reconfigured the delivery of policing services to our city through a transformation from traditionally-based law enforcement services to having a holistic community policing approach. An approach our team continues to this day. This is part of our fabric and is built on partnering with every segment of the community and working together with all stakeholders to ensure an equitable quality of life for every resident. Officers are trained, and new officers are hired, with the mindset of treating every citizen with dignity and respect, in every interaction every day, and to see themselves as community problem-solvers rather than simply law enforcers. Over the years, this approach has been supported through numerous community policing programs and a reallocation of resources toward heightened citizen engagement, youth mentoring, mental health issues, homelessness, and social services. These community policing initiatives have placed an equal focus on exposing officers to positive engagement opportunities in our community which are a welcome distraction to the negative circumstances they so often have to encounter. In addition, the GPPD culture focuses on officers’ mental health and resiliency through peer support, chaplaincy, and non-enforcement related
opportunities that enrich their lives by giving back to the community they serve. While not perfect, this approach has led to exemplary levels of citizen trust in the police department, a historic crime decrease, and increased morale and job satisfaction for our officers. As we move forward, I am committed to a comprehensive and continuous review of our policies to ensure continued transparency and maintaining the meaningful partnership we have with our community. We will remain dedicated to continually searching for progressive ways to most effectively and equitably serve our community.

Daniel Scesney, Chief of Police
Grand Prairie Police Department