Lebanon Police Chief reacts to protest violence

Editor’s note: Lebanon Police Chief Frank Stevenson has issued this response to the violent protests occurring across the state and nation in the wake of the death of George Floyd: 

Police Chief Frank Stevenson

As a police agency, we continue to be upset by the senseless death of George Floyd, and by the deep pain and division we’re seeing across the country.

The events of the past week are one more painful reminder that injustice remains in our world. As the head of this police agency, I want to assure our community that I condemn and find reprehensible the actions that occurred in Minneapolis.

I despise nothing more than when an officer fails to uphold his oath to serve and protect, and damages the trust we work so hard to establish.

Officers of the Lebanon Police Department are held to a very high standard and are expected to uphold their positions as symbols of public faith.

We will continue to work at strengthening your trust on a daily basis, and always strive to be better as we recognize the responsibility that we have been entrusted with. Lebanon Police Department implemented a body-worn camera system around 2012; dashcam video in our patrol vehicles was put in place around 2009. These devices ensure transparency and continued professionalism between officers and the community we serve.

If a use-of-force incident arises, we conduct a vigorous, formal review process to ensure protocols are being followed and that expectations of the community, and agency administration, are being upheld. The State of Oregon adopted new hate and bias crime law in January 2020 to improve data reporting and access for reporting instances of hate and bias incidents.

Oregon now has a hotline (1-844-924- BIAS) and an online reporting option through the Oregon Department of Justice. Your Lebanon Police officers wear a badge that symbolizes honor, dedication, and public trust. It is my expectation that they will see it as a reminder of the trust that has been placed in them, on- and off-duty, to serve and protect ALL.

We stand in solidarity against violations of human dignity and acts of inequality.

We are committed to listening and learning as we find our role in creating a better future.

We accept our responsibility as professionals to provide the highest standard of law enforcement service while preserving the rights of the citizens within the community of Lebanon.

— Frank Stevenson, Lebanon Police Chief