By John M. Reid, Chief of University Police Department
I want to take a moment to let the campus community know how upsetting it was for me both personally and professionally to watch the video of Mr. George Floyd’s death while in the custody of police officers from the Minneapolis Police Department. I was both furious and saddened as I clearly witnessed acts that violated ethical and moral principles I have held throughout my long career in law enforcement—and which all members of our University Police Department (UPD) uphold daily.
It is a police officer’s sworn duty to protect all, to use the minimum amount of force necessary, and to provide for the continued care and protection of those in their custody so as to ensure no further harm can occur. This was obviously not the case in Minneapolis, as police officers acted outside their calling to serve and protect. Even worse, it is apparent that other officers did not intervene when they observed—what I believe will be proven in a court of law to be—a crime in progress.
While my words alone may not mean much at this point, I want our campus community to know I will be meeting with all the police officers at UPD and reinforcing the values, ethics, policy, and training they have received and sworn to uphold. While I have the utmost confidence in my team to do what is best and right in all situations, it is also important that UPD reinforce the expectations that the Chico State community and beyond have in our officers.
I especially want to affirm both my personal and our department’s commitment to ensuring our black students, faculty, and staff feel safe and valued at Chico State. It is part of our mission to cultivate trust with our community, and after these incidents within our profession in recent weeks, we will continue to work to earn your confidence in us. Our officers have and will continue to keep our community safe through respectful interaction and equitable application of the law, building positive relationships, and respecting the value of all human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone.
John Reid has been the chief of University Police Department since 2017. His career spans more than 30 years dedicated to law enforcement at CSU, Channel Islands, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and the University of Arkansas.