|Chief Casey Kilgore offers perspective from the FTPD.|
The following statement was written by Chief Casey Kilgore and sent to Mayor Haas and members of city council.
Dear Mayor Haas and Members of Council:
We are often faced with difficult issues of public concern and certainly recent events have highlighted the need to evaluate how we conduct ourselves in certain situations. I understand the relevant concerns of our public, and those concerns deserve an answer.
Please know that in my role as Chief of Police, I have the utmost confidence in the members of our police department to carry out their daily duties. Our police officers conduct themselves with the highest regard for human life and the dignity of all members of our community. I am proud to report that our highest priority within our mission and values statement is, “We value life and dignity above all else.”
We are fortunate in Fort Thomas to hire, retain, and promote some of the most professional and dedicated police officers around. During our hiring process, we conduct a thorough background investigation that exceeds all state requirements for police officers. Our interviewing process and testing procedures ensure that we hire only the finest of candidates.
Our training and professionalism extend beyond the Police Academy. We are an Accredited Police
Department and have been since 1994. We go through a rigorous re-accreditation process once every five years, the most recent being in 2019. During this process, our entire police department is scrutinized by an outside organization. We are proud to report that every assessment has resulted with all standards being met or exceeded.
All of our officers are required to continually review policies and procedures and participate in continuous training. Just to name a few relevant topics, we are trained in: Crisis Intervention, De-escalation techniques, Conflict Resolution, Use of Force, Defensive Tactics, and all case laws that are relevant to these topics. We are committed to annual training, monthly in-house training, online training, scenario-based training, and we have several police officers that are certified to train in-house in several different areas.
We are committed to keeping up with changing technologies that enhance transparency and public trust, such as cruiser cameras, rear-facing (backseat) cruiser cameras, and body worn cameras. We thoroughly document and review Use of Force incidents, Weapon Deployments, pursuits, and complaints. Just to give an example, an officer’s use of force report and video documentation would be reviewed by his Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Chief of Police before being filed. In the past, we have offered a Citizen’s Police Academy, in an effort to increase our transparency and build relationships with our community members. We currently have plans to offer that program again in the near future.
The events of the past two weeks have offered us the opportunity to review who we are as a police
department. I am proud to say I have worked side by side with these officers for the past twenty years. I have trusted them with my life, as they have entrusted me with theirs. I certainly trust them to go out into our community and make excellent decisions each and every day. We are all committed to serving our community to the best of our ability, and we are further committed to continuously analyzing ourselves and our practices to maintain our professionalism.
Casey Kilgore, Chief of Police