California Police Chief- Fall 2013 CPCA_2019_Spring Magazine- FINAL - Page 4

WELCOME FROM PRESIDENT LAWRENCE Y our California Police Chiefs Association needs YOU! In this crazy era of the “information age” society has a ravenous appetite for rapid-fire information, quick data and fast connectivity on the internet. Unfortunately, banter in mainstream and social media has led to a frenzied rush to judgement, with misguided opinions and biased perceptions of police. Media sources seem plagued with misinformation. Even more outrageous is the deceitful manufacturing of fraudulent narratives. The good news is California police chiefs have a reputation of preserving an objective view of facts, seeking truth, and being devoted to protecting California. The credibility earned by California police chiefs allows communities to trust their local police chief as a clear and honest voice standing apart from a backdrop of static, noise and chatter in the world. Communities have great confidence in their local police chief, which gives us an opportunity to be daring leaders in the protection of our cities. Our association represents 333 California municipal police chiefs, 368 associate members, and 834 retired chiefs. This is 1,534 influential leaders focused to improve our police image, push back against bad legislation, champion good policy, and ensure California maintains excellent public safety. I have seen significant police reforms since becoming a police chief in 2011, and every year brings new challenges. Policing has taken some hard hits, and this year we face one of the most controversial and emotionally charged police reform efforts ever; a direct attempt to dismantle officers’ rights to defend themselves and protect victims by removing their ability to use objectively reasonable force when making arrests or overcoming resistance. Codified by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1989 (Graham v. Conner), the “objectively reasonable” standard has guided police use of force for thirty years. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized that courts must judge use of force from the perspective of a reasonable officer given the facts and circumstances, and not with 20/20 hindsight. 4 California Police Chief | Unfortunately, some police reforms currently underway are misguided and attempt to raise the legal standard of police use of force, criminalizing officers’ split-second decisions when lives are in danger. We must defend our officers’ ability to do their jobs safely and protect our communities. I am confident commonsense will prevail, and in your leadership position, you can help. My call to action is for members to get involved with CPCA. Whether directly or engaging on social media, together we can leverage our collective voices and defend the truth by shaping a positive image of our profession. We must remain strong with a resounding voice heard across our state, from Crescent City to Chula Vista. I encourage you to engage your community by educating with facts and taking an active stance on issues. Courageous leadership requires us to be firm in our convictions and bold in action. Working together, we can ensure California maintains outstanding public safety. I look forward to leading our association this year, and partnering with you, as your California Police Chiefs Association needs YOU…now more than ever! Sincerely, Ronald Lawrence Ronald Lawrence California Police Chiefs Association President