After releasing our open letter to Police Departments, because I said I would reached out to local police departments in the Cleveland area and surrounding communities. We offered them free resources including 15 copies of our because I said I would book, our book club guide, promise cards, wristbands and a copy of our letter. We also spent time discussing with them ways to partner and provide resources in the future to help with accountability in police culture.
Through our outreach we were able to provide these resources to four local police departments: Rocky River Police Department, Maple Heights Police Department, Warrensville Heights Police Department and Bedford Heights Police Department. We look forward to continuing the discussion of accountability with police departments and providing resources to those who are interested.
An Open Letter to Police Departments across the United States
May 31st, 2020
Dear Police Officers:
There is a problem in the culture of law enforcement that is certainly not unique to your profession. It is a problem that exists with the politicians above you and even the criminals in front of you. Our country has an accountability problem.
Blaming other people might as well be a sport at this point. Admit no guilt. Take no responsibility. This approach to life is poison in our blood. You have seen the toxic effects of this attitude in the lives of criminals. Now I am asking if you can see this at all in your colleagues or maybe even within yourself. Does your department avoid accountability for its choices? Does it make excuses for racism or excessive use of force? Like alcohol on a wound, accountability stings, but that’s how it works. These questions are both uncomfortable and necessary.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has a Law Enforcement Oath of Honor intended to affirm and periodically reaffirm an officer’s commitment to society. The oath reads:
“On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always maintain the highest ethical standards and uphold the values of my community, and the agency I serve.”
At some point in your life, you made a promise very similar to these words. The nation is calling on you to remember that day. To remember why you chose an honorable life of risk and sacrifice for your community and your country. Racism and the abuse of power are beneath your standards. And no one is above accountability.
This letter stands as an open invitation to police departments who are looking for a partner to help change their culture of accountability for the better. We are because I said I would, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. We have character development programs in schools, juvenile detention centers and prisons that teach practical habits and tactics through accountability workshops. We would like to offer accountability culture programming to police departments seeking positive change. Because of the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer this program at no cost to you.
We will not pretend to have the solution to the challenges you face. All we know is something needs to be done and we aren’t here to complain; we want to help. Police departments need to show their communities that they are taking the issue of accountability seriously. They are asking you to make a positive change and you need to answer. What is your plan?
Our phone number is 216.226.3770 and you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your service to your community and to your country. Your job is incredibly difficult and that fact is not lost on us.
Founder of because I said I would